Peak industry body Agforce is partnering with the Palaszczuk Government to expand and upgrade agricultural training for secondary school students.
The Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the partnership finalised yesterday, would ensure the successful Agribusiness Gateway to Industry Schools Program grew and continued to address skill shortages and attract students into a career in agriculture.
“The Gateway to Industry Schools Program supports and encourages secondary school students to gain work-ready skills to pursue a career as an apprentice or trainee or continue on with further study in their chosen industry,” Ms Fentiman said.
“The Palaszczuk Government have invested an additional $100,000 to expand the Agribusiness Gateway program to incorporate the best elements of the former School to Industry Partnership Program (SIPP) and will include raising awareness of emerging career opportunities in agriculture.”
“This fantastic partnership with AgForce to deliver the program will ensure we continue to grow participation from schools and students.”
“The school-based Agribusiness Gateway to Industry Schools Program will be upgraded to support the ever-changing needs of the sector including technology advancements.”
“We are reinvigorating the Agribusiness Program to ensure we are giving young rural Queenslanders the best possible education and training in agriculture and agribusiness.”
“The program is one of a suite of initiatives the government is introducing to help prepare more young Queenslanders for work in the agricultural industry.”
“Other initiatives include the TAFE Queensland Rural Centre of Excellence being built in Toowoomba and the government’s VET in Schools and free tafe programs.”
Minister for Agriculture Mark Furner welcomed the partnership to provide a new and modern approach to agriculture education in Queensland.
“The agricultural workforce of the future needs to be knowledgeable and capable in the digital and technology spheres with a focus on STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths,” Mr Furner said.
“The students will be introduced to facets of the agriculture industry including cropping, husbandry, research and business management in the school environment.
‘As well as helping students transition from school into the industry, the program will promote the significant value of primary industry to our Queensland way of life.
“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of this contribution, particularly as many primary producers are dealing with the devastating effects of the monsoon trough after years of drought.”
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin is thrilled to be able to partner with the State Government to deliver this expanded training program to young Queenslanders.
“AgForce is delighted to be able to contribute its agricultural knowledge and expertise in training to expanding the engagement program for Agribusiness Gateway Schools.
“The program will increase opportunities for Queensland students to connect with the agriculture industry and offer professional development for teachers, building on the achievements of the successful Schools to Industry Partnership Program.”
The one-year agreement with Agforce follows consultation with industry organisations including the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, who provide advice on agriculture training through their role as a VET Industry Advisory Organisation.
The new Agribusiness Program will continue to be reviewed during 2019.