The number of Indonesian students training in the northern Australian cattle industry will jump to 100 next year, following a $2 million funding commitment from the Federal Government.
Australian trade minister Steve Ciobo announced the expansion of the Skills Development Program during his visit to Indonesia this week.
This year 86 Indonesians were trained in the cattle sector in Australia through short courses run by Australia Awards in Indonesia and the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association Indonesia Australia Pastoral Program.
“Next year we will expand the number to at least 100 and we will commit at least $2 million to ensure this happens,” Mr Ciobo said.
“The short courses delivered under the program have proven to be incredibly successful at strengthening the bonds between our two countries in the red meat and cattle sector.”
Mr Ciobo said the Australian Government was committed to increasing its level of cooperation with the Indonesian red meat and cattle industry, and to help in whatever ways it could to improve Indonesia’s capacity.
Past graduates of the Skills Development Program have been highly sought after by employers in Indonesia, including by Indonesian industry and government, as well as Australian-based companies operating in Indonesia.
Mr Ciobo said program had delivered significant and ongoing mutually beneficial outcomes for both cattle industries.
“It’s reassuring that the Partnership under the federal government is committing to continued investment in these initiatives,” NTCA’s Tom Ryan said.
“The programs increase sustainability and resilience within both countries’ beef cattle industries, through shared learning and relationship development.”
NTCA’s Indonesia Australia Pastoral Program began in 2012. It is designed to provide practical hands-on learning, relationship development and cultural exchange between the Indonesian and north Australian beef cattle industries. Over the past five years the program has continued to build strong relationships between the two countries, and has created a breadth of opportunity for Indonesian animal husbandry students to excel on an international scale.
The second phase of NIAPP sees station hosts undertake a reciprocal trip to Indonesia to engage in industry and culture, representing the 360 degree learning experience.
“This renewed motivation for young people in agriculture will continue to drive our trade and relationships into the future – these young industry leaders will one day be shaping and sustaining our Red Meat Industries,” Mr Ryan said.
Northern Territory Livestock Exporters’ Association chief executive officer Stuart kemp said the NTCA’s Pastoral Industry Student Program had been a fantastic and very popular initiative.
“We take our hats off to those within the association who brought it to life,” Mr Kemp said.
“Students that I have met here in the Northern Territory and in Indonesia who have participated in the training and placement program are genuinely excited to have had such an experience.
The program is an important investment in future industry leaders and decision makers, Mr Kemp said.
“Clearly that is an investment worth making,” Mr Kemp said.
“To see the program grow to 100 places is fantastic and shows a confidence in the future of our trade and overall relationship.”
Trade Minister Ciobo’s visit saw talks continue between the Australian and Indonesian Governments on the subject of longer permit allocations, but no firm indications have emerged yet that Indonesia will change from the new four monthly permit allocation periods recently introduced. Permits were previously allocated every three months.
Both countries are also expressing a renewed commitment to securing a free trade agreement.
Negotiations began in 2012 but have since stalled. Talks resumed again in March this year, and both Governments have stated they are committed to concluding the talks by the end of next year.
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