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New partnership to boost Qld ag training

Beef Central, 10/08/2017
Ensuring primary producers and the next generation of agricultural workers are well-trained and have the right skills for the jobs of the future will be the focus of a new partnership between AgForce and Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges.

The two organisations today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to deliver improved education and training outcomes for Queensland’s agricultural sector.

QATC CEO Mark Tobin said the agreement was a great opportunity for both organisations to work together to assist Queensland’s primary producers to build productivity in a rapidly changing industry.

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said with global demand for Queensland’s high-quality food and fibre growing significantly, agriculture would continue to be a foundation of the state’s economy that underpinned tens of thousands of jobs.

“Technology will continue to transform the way we farm, especially digital technology and data analysis, so ensuring our primary producers are up to date with best management practices and techniques will be key to increasing the industry’s productivity and profitability,” he said.

“Training for the current and future generation of farmers and farm workers must be relevant and future-focussed. This new partnership is aimed at delivering the most relevant training solutions and ensuring farm businesses have better access to new developments and technology applications.

Mr Tobin said that under the agreement, AgForce members will be able to “access value for money training, delivered by QATC across the State and across our suite of programs”.

“The AgForce membership base will be among the first to have access to a range of new industry responsive skills sets and short courses, including those designed to enhance farm business management, ag safety, biosecurity and the uptake of technology in agricultural production and management,” he said.

Both Mr Tobin and Mr Maudsley agreed the new partnership between QATC and AgForce was a win-win that would enable the organisations to leverage off each other’s strengths, make the most of resources and capitalise on future opportunities for the benefit of individual AgForce members, and agricultural industries overall.

“AgForce has a large and engaged member base, while QATC has a network of training facilities, including colleges in Emerald and Longreach, a state-wide team of mobile instructors and established vocational education training compliance capacity,” said Mr Maudsley.

“It’s about bringing the best of both worlds together to deliver the best possible outcomes for Queensland primary producers, agribusinesses and our rural workforce,” added Mr Tobin.

AgForce will assist QATC with industry engagement and advice aimed at ensuring training initiatives meet current and emerging industry needs.

The two organisations will collaborate and partner on the delivery of industry workshops, accredited training – including Recognition of Prior Learning, and short course training.

QATC has the capacity to deliver a range of training including full qualifications while AgForce has recently focussed on short courses such as one-day workshops.

Source: AgForce, QATC

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  1. Michael J. Vail, 11/08/2017

    This collaboration seems quite sensible. All students need to learn the basics, as the original idea was to turn out industry specific trained youth that will have passed the requirements of the first two years of Jackeroo/Jilleroo ‘apprenticeship, and be able to hit the ground running at their first ‘real’ paid position on the coal-face of the pastoral and farming industry, with a focus on premium food and fibre production, animal health and husbandry, and good management.

    Some may wish to continue their studies past Certificate and Graduate Diploma level, and specialise a little bit; and arguably colleges like Longreach and Emerald Pastoral Colleges can add the first part of that ‘polish’, by offering within the extra course-work; topics, for example, like land valuation and rural science. These students may then choose to go on Universities like UNE (for Rural Science), or UQ (for Land Valuation).

    There is a stark shortage of rural land Valuers all over Australia, and therefore a lack of understanding of true value from a Land Economist viewpoint. ‘Valuation’ today has become all about the market-price; and a loss of focus upon the true underlying fundamental value.

    Any Investor in any other class of asset would understand the drivers of value and look at where price today sits, when compared to this fundamental value, and decide (based on views of risk and expected returns) whether to invest today, or wait.

    I believe that as part of the evolution of the colleges, that relationships must be secured with these types of Universities, and/or a collaboration directly with CQU in Rockhampton, to offer the opportunity for Students to be exposed to these important topics so they may in turn drive change within the Pastoral and Farming communities from whence they come, or elsewhere …

    As for the short-courses, all I can say is “excellent news”; and a great opportunity to earn good revenue.

    May I also offer the opinion that working stock requires an early and cool start to reduce stress on animals and human alike, especially in the tropical north. Starting out with trucks and horses at 9:00am to travel out to a property, is training Students incorrectly. Should arguably be in the paddock at daylight to catch them coming into water. A calm exercise usually ensues. It means that Trainers must set their alarms early too …

    Thank you.

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