Grains workshop upskills careers advisers

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Teachers and careers advisers from the Wagga Wagga region gained a lesson in the range of opportunities on offer in the grains sector as part of a workshop to boost the number of students choosing agriculture as their career.

The GRDC ran the professional development workshop – More than Gumboots and Tractors – to upskill teachers and careers advisers in and around the southern New South Wales grains industry.

Belinda Cay, director of AgCommunicators and project leader for and on behalf of the GRDC, said the objective was to help address a large skills concern for the grains industry.

“The workforce of tomorrow for the grains industry starts with today’s high school students so it is important that those who help advise and steer students’ careers are equipped with the right information,” Ms Cay says.

Earlier this year, AgCommunicators conducted a poll of more than 50 South Australian teachers and careers advisers’ perceptions of the SA grains industry. The poll found that more than half of careers advisers had little or fair knowledge of career pathways into agriculture. There were also concerns raised that they did not understand the range of opportunities available and so were not confident giving advice to students.  

“This indicates there is work to be done in educating careers advisers about the actual careers available. There is the perception that a career in agriculture simply means farming – we are working to dispel this myth and profile the broad range of careers from research to agronomy, food science to grain marketing, logistics to communication,” Ms Cay says.

The Wagga Wagga workshop included a tour of local research centres, grain-quality laboratories and seed-processing sites.

The day concluded with an industry networking hour where teachers met people directly employed in the grains industry.

“Succession planning for the grains industry requires a whole-of-industry response so we all need to spruik the benefits of working in our dynamic industry,” Ms Cay says.

Teachers and careers advisers have created links with industry organisations for teaching and learning inspiration and to discover learning pathways into food science and grains careers.

More information:

Belinda Cay,

belinda.cay@agcommunicators.com.au

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GRDC Project Code ACO00012

Region North