Industry training needs
NEW South Wales grain and cotton growers are being encouraged to have their say in a statewide survey to gather critical information about the impact of the AgSkilled initiative in meeting the training needs of their respective industries.
AgSkilled is a $14.7 million, three-year, NSW Governmentfunded, industry-led workforce development strategy, aimed at ensuring the state’s cotton and grain industries have a skilled workforce capable of meeting the challenges of the future.
Developed in consultation with Cotton Australia and the Grains Research Development and Corporation, the AgSkilled project has been involved in assessing and providing vocational training for those working at a farm level.
To date the AgSkilled strategy has delivered training to more than 3000 learners, across more than 100 locations, covering topics such as advanced chemical training, precision agriculture, leadership, professional development, governance, drones in agriculture and a range of safety courses.
AgSkilled project officer Claudia Vicary said the program was now past the midway mark in terms of its initial funding, so those involved in the grains and cotton industries were being asked to complete a short survey to provide feedback on the impact and value of this unique project, and suggest any areas for improvement to ensure the remaining 12 months continue to deliver for industry.
“This program is the first of its kind so we are keen to understand how industry feels we are tracking and if there are any areas we need to address,” Ms Vicary said.
“This information will contribute towards an independent mid-term review of the AgSkilled program.
“To take part in this opportunity and share your thoughts and experiences, please fill out a short online survey – it should only take about five minutes to complete because we know your time is valuable.”
GRDC Northern Panel chairman John Minogue said the AgSkilled survey was a unique and important chance for growers to express their support for effective industry training and help identify genuine improvements.
“Training can be the difference between success and failure on-farm and in business,” Mr Minogue said.
“It doesn’t matter whether you are a farm owner or a farmhand in agriculture, like any industry, you need the skills to match your role, whether that’s basic machinery maintenance or commodity marketing.
“AgSkilled has been about identifying and delivering the right training in regional locations to ensure both employers and employees have the capacity, skills and knowledge to be enduring and profitable into the future.”
Mr Minogue said the AgSkilled program had already received widespread support from the grains sector and he was keen to see the initiative extended beyond the initial three-year term.
Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said AgSkilled provided important education and training on a wide range of topics to upskill workers and boost efficiencies on farm.
“Increasing the capacity of the workforce will allow growers, on-farm staff and the broader industry to better manage current and future challenges,” Mr Kay said.
“I encourage growers to complete this survey to ensure we can continue to meet industry-wide training needs.”
UPSKILLING: AgSkilled project officer Claudia Vicary believes training is empowering for the individual and can drive productivity and profitability gains on-farm.