Skills in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries will be bolstered following the announcement in Canberra by Federal Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Luke Hartsuyker MP, of a new organisation to deliver training packages.
The organisation, Skills Impact, has been formed collaboratively by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and ForestWorks, and is one of five Skills Service Organisations appointed to deliver training package functions on behalf of Government. It will assume the role Industry Skills Councils previously held in the review and development of training products, including skills standards and qualifications.
NFF President Brent Finlay said that the recent announcement marked the beginning of a new, more industry-driven approach to vocational education and training (VET) sector training package development and maintenance.
“As demand for Australian produce grows, we must increasingly rely on the right skills mix to drive productivity and this is why giving industry a stronger voice on education and training is so important,” Mr Finlay said.
“Our focus, through Skills Impact, is to ensure that the new training package model is both efficient and outcomes driven.
“This means better value for money, deeper insight into industry skills needs and quality training outcomes on farm.”
Skills Impact will support a diverse range of renewable resource industries including agriculture, horticulture, forestry, arboriculture, conservation and land management, fishing, aquaculture, racing and food and beverage processing.
It will also support Industry Reference Committees in providing advice to the Australian Industry Skills Committee about industry skills needs. This advice feeds into the national strategy for development of VET sector training packages, skill standards and qualifications under the Australian Government’s Training Product Development for Australian Industry program.
“Agriculture is one of the most exciting industries in Australia in terms of potential growth in employment and earnings for the nation,” Mr Finlay said.
“The naming of Skills Impact by the Minister as one of the organisations to deliver training packages is an important step in ensuring we have appropriately skilled and enthusiastic people to meet the demands of this flourishing sector.”
Featured Image: Brett Finlay
This story was first published in Leading Agriculture magazine.