Grower input vital to identify farm training needs

Author: | Date: 27 Jun 2017

New South Wales grain growers have just days to have their say in a state-wide survey to gather critical information about the future training needs of the industry.

An initiative of the NSW Government in conjunction with Cotton Australia and the Grains Research Development and Corporation (GRDC) the AgSkilled project aims to assess and provide vocational training for those working at a farm level across the state.

GRDC Senior Regional Manager, North Jan Edwards said the AgSkilled survey was a unique and important chance for growers to express their on-farm training needs and help identify genuine skill shortages.

“The right training can be the difference between success and failure on-farm and in business,” Ms Edwards 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.

“This survey is about identifying what skillsets we need at farm level to ensure our grains businesses have the capacity, training and knowledge to be enduring and profitable into the future.”

The AgSkilled initiative, was announced in December by the Deputy Premier of NSW and Minister for Skills, John Barilaro, who allocated $14.7 million over three-years to increase staff skill levels and attract industry newcomers with the aim of improving the productivity and profitability of both the grains and cotton industries.

“This GRDC and Cotton Australia survey will help us understand the immediate and future training needs of growers, on-farm staff and the broader industry,” Ms Edwards said.

“So growers and those employed in the grains and cotton industries need to use it as an opportunity to have their say about what they see as their training priorities and training needs going forward.

Image of Roger Bolte“This initiative needs grassroots input to ensure it is relevant and delivering the sort of training and skillsets that will make a difference on-farm.”

The AgSkilled survey has already received wide-spread support from the grains sector with growers like Roger Bolte from southern NSW urging his peers to complete the survey and have a say in what training is delivered in rural and regional areas.

Mr Bolte said training and building on the knowledge of the next generation of young people in agriculture was critical for the industry’s future.

“Training’s probably the most important thing farmers can have. We all come out of school with limited real life experience so ongoing education is critical,” he said.

“The fact is farming is not a lifestyle anymore, it’s a business and businesses need to be managed properly and we need training to do that.”

To hear more of Mr Bolte’s thoughts on training follow this link.

To have a say in the future training needs of the grains sector complete the short survey.

Caption 1: GRDC Senior Regional Mangaer North Jan Edwards is urging growers to have a say about what training is needed at a farm level to ensure the longterm profitability of the sector.

Caption 2: Grain grower Roger Bolte says training in agriculture is critical for the industry’s future.

Contact Details

For Interviews
Claudia Vicary, AgSkilled Project Officer
0409 043 774

Toni Somes, Cox Inall Communications
0427 878 378