Grains industry training support for indigenous Australians

Grains industry training support for indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians keen to pursue a career in the grains industry are being offered a new form of support to help them realise their aspirations.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has announced the creation of four Indigenous Training Awards to assist with work placements, tertiary study and other forms of training.

GRDC Executive Manager Practices, Steve Thomas, said the GRDC had established the awards to foster the development of grains industry skills and opportunities within the indigenous population.

“It is hoped that by providing these financial support mechanisms we can encourage more people of indigenous background, or of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, to consider and seek a role in the grains sector,” Mr Thomas said.

“The industry is a dynamic and progressive one, and with land ownership growing amongst indigenous community members, their increased representation and involvement in grains research, development and extension is encouraged.”

Mr Thomas said it was not just the successful applicants who stood to benefit from the awards – the grains industry as a whole, particularly in rural and regional areas, would be enriched by the recipients’ contribution to RD&E.

“It is very much a win-win situation. The development of indigenous skills and training and the building of long-term relationships will be of enormous benefit to all involved.”

Mr Thomas said the awards formed part of a broader federal initiative to build indigenous workforce capacity, engagement and knowledge in rural industries.

Each of the four awards – one for a tertiary studies candidate and three for skills development or work placement candidates – will provide an allocation of up to a maximum of $10,000 within any year. The amount actually agreed will depend on the case made by applicants for the resources. The awards may extend for short term periods such as a couple of months to a period of up to three years.

The closing date for applications is March 14, 2011. Further information and application forms are available via http://www.grdc.com.au/director/apply/traveltrainingawards/ita