One of Skills Impact’s Industry Engagement Managers, Andrew Horgan, recently attended the AgFutures Project Community Launch event in Warrnambool, an exciting step in a project Skills Impact has been working on since last year.
In September 2021, Skills Impact took part in a workshop run by the Brotherhood of St Laurence to identify ways to encourage and support young people in the Barwon South West region of Victoria to seek employment in the agriculture industry. As a result of the workshop and follow-up consultations, the AgFutures project was devised, bringing together industry, TAFE and community partners to provide a new agriculture workforce development solution in the region.
AgFutures is in the process of developing a short-form qualification to equip young people with the skills required to work in the dairy industry. Through the project, employers have the chance to shape solutions to their skills needs and to employ young job seekers. Young people will be offered the opportunity to work for six months with an agriculture employer, pursue an accredited training pathway and access career support. The program is being delivered over two years and is currently in the stage of consulting on the draft qualification and lining up training organisations and young people to take part. The aim of working in partnership in a targeted region is to build an enduring solution to workforce development that can be adapted and scaled to meet labour demands in other industries and regions.
Skills Impact is playing a key role in the project, helping to provide strategic guidance on the governance committee and helping to bring other key stakeholders to the table. We are also helping with training needs analysis and co-design of a pre-employment training program so that trainers, employers and students have the best experience possible.
Andrew Horgan (third from left) with other key project partners at the launch of the program by the Minister for Education, the Honourable Gail Tierney MP on 29 September 2022.