The McGowan Government has moved to boost workforce capacity and capability in the Carnarvon horticulture production area by establishing a dedicated agricultural training site to help advance vocational training.
Action has already been taken to establish the training site at the Carnarvon Research Station, after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Central Regional TAFE and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
The new location will enhance the TAFE’s delivery of Certificates in agriculture, horticulture, rural operations and short courses, providing unique access to equipment, research trials and DPIRD’s technical experts.
The move builds on the close relationship developed between Central Regional TAFE and DPIRD in recent years, through the department’s PRIMED education project.
The State Government has significantly upgraded the Carnarvon Research Station in recent years, which now boasts a high-tech greenhouse with a retractable roof for environmental control and cyclone protection, a protective crop netting structure and a digital data network.
There has also been ongoing investment in scientific personnel at the station, who undertake a range of sub-tropical irrigated agricultural research to advance the district’s $100 million per annum horticulture production industry.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“This is a great initiative to provide young people in the Gascoyne with the opportunity to tap into a high-quality training program, appropriately located at the State’s home of sub-tropical research.
“The Carnarvon Research Station hosts a number of groundbreaking research trials across a range of fruit and vegetable crops, including mangoes, persimmons, jackfruit, tomatoes, capsicums, melons, as well as sterile Leucaena.
“This collaboration will help contribute to a skilled workforce for the burgeoning horticulture industry, driving regional economic growth and jobs.”
As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
“The State Government is supporting Western Australia’s agriculture industry to build its current and future workforce and this initiative aligns with priorities the industry has set out for meeting its skills needs in the region.
“This unique arrangement will be a great benefit to TAFE students and lecturers, working alongside experienced DPIRD research scientists and technical officers in the field to learn the latest advances and techniques in the horticulture industry.
“The partnership between TAFE and DPIRD will help attract students to these important courses, while serving as a platform to launch the next generation of horticulturalists to support the district’s expanding irrigated agriculture industry.”