He’s help­ing grow farm­ing jobs

Gatton Star - - Life -

FARM­ING in the Gran­ite Belt and South­ern Dar­ling Downs will be the fo­cus for new Re­gion­alWork­force De­vel­op­ment Co-or­di­na­tor Peter Broomhall who is based with Grow­com in Toowoomba.

As part of his role Mr Broomhall will be pro­gress­ing work­place de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives as­so­ci­ated with the Queens­land Pro­duc­tion Hor­ti­cul­ture De­vel­op­ment Plan.

Mr Broomhall said he wanted to find dif­fer­ent ways to de­velop bet­ter re­la­tion­ships be­tween farm­ers, train­ers and uni­ver­si­ties.

“Farm­ers can give me a call if they are con­fused about how train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions work and those types of is­sues, and I can point them in the right di­rec­tion,” he said.

“Some grow­ers have men­tioned want­ing their staff to have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of pests and dis­eases and how to use that for bet­ter crop pro­tec­tion man­age­ment.”

Mr Broomhall said that farm­ing was not just a bloke sit­ting on a trac­tor but in fact it was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that the ca­reer path could take many forms.

“It might be the fruit and veg­etable in­dus­try, but there are many facets to that in­dus­try,” he said.

He said there were op­por­tu­ni­ties in ad­min­is­tra­tion and qual­ity man­age­ment, to name just a cou­ple.

Mr Broomhall is work­ing with one farmer in the Lock­yer Val­ley who is look­ing at en­ter­prise train­ing.

“We are look­ing at what skills he needs to up­grade his staff and we will cre­ate a train­ing plan,” he said.

He said he wanted grow­ers to al­ways be learn­ing some­thing new that would keep them in the busi­ness.

Mr Broomhall said grow­ers should cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple and stu­dents to get into the in­dus­try.

He said for ex­am­ple there could be a third year busi­ness stu­dent.

The stu­dent could come in at a project level and work with the farm­ers for a bet­ter anal­y­sis of the busi­ness as part of work ex­pe­ri­ence or an in­tern­ship.

“Big­ger grow­ers do it al­ready but there is no rea­son why a mid-size busi­ness couldn’t do it as well,” he said.

“Do­ing that might help the grad­u­ate de­cide to stay in the area and in the in­dus­try.”

He said there was a lack of peo­ple com­ing into the in­dus­try and his job as co­or­di­na­tor was to co­or­di­nate be­tween them.

Any grower who pro­duces a food prod­uct and wants to learn more about the pro­gram or would like Peter to as­sist them with work­force de­vel­op­ment is­sues should con­tact him on 0408 135 003 or email pb­roomhall@ grow­com.com.au.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

BIG PLANS: Clin­ton McGrath from DAFF, Re­gional Work­force De­vel­op­ment Co-or­di­na­tor Peter Broomhall and Paul Oliver from Rugby Farms at the an­nounce­ment of the Queens­land Pro­duc­tion Hor­ti­cul­ture Work­force De­vel­op­ment Plan at Rugby Farms.

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