Work has already begun to identify the specific skills needs of a range of sectors across agriculture and horticulture. You may have already read about new projects covering skills in Agronomy; Biosecurity and Emergency Response; Conservation and Land Management; and Medicinal Crops. In addition, work has begun on two more projects in Rural Merchandising and Sales, and Horticulture and Nursery.
For details of timelines, scope and opportunities for involvement, see the links to the individual project pages below.
Rural Merchandising & Sales
Farmers and horiculturalists spend a lot of money on products and services to keep their businesses operating at peak efficiency. Rural merchandising workers need specialist knowledge to provide information about equipment, chemicals or other products so that farmers get the right item for the job. The agriculture and horticulture sector would benefit from an update of skills standards in rural merchandising to make sure qualifications and units reflect current products and markets.
Horticulture & Nursery Project
The production of plants for human food, fibre and decoration is the work of a range of industry sub-sectors, including production horticulture, nursery production and retail nurseries. These sectors are part of the same supply chain, and as such face similar challenges, adopting new technologies and processes to manage a competitive marketplace and challenging seasonal conditions. Units relating to these areas will be reviewed as part of this project, supporting flexible career paths and providing an integrated approach to skills needs across the supply chain.
Agronomy is about managing the environmental factors of producing plants for human use to optimize efficiency and sustainability. There is industry demand for hands on skills and expertise in agronomy. However, currently no relevant national VET qualification exists to promote them. This project aims to develop a nationally recognised Diploma of Agronomy to support the development of these much needed practical skills.
Biosecurity and Emergency Response Project
Strong biosecurity measures are the backbone of Australia’s reputation for high quality produce. Skills in upholding these measures are needed at every stage of production, from purchasing through to growing, transport and sales. This project will review units pertaining to biosecurity in the workplace, identifying the skills required for preventing and managing biosecurity issues. It will also review units relevant to State and National Biosecurity Regulatory authority workers, who require specialist knowledge of how to respond in an emergency.
Conservation and Land Management Project
All Australians benefit from the rehabilitation and conservation of our unique natural resources by those in the Conservation and Land Management industry. As part of this project, broad consultation will take place to ensure the geographically and culturally diverse context of this work is reflected in national skills standards. This project will review units relevant to conservation and land management as well as it’s numerous sub-sectors, including lands, parks and wildlife; natural area restoration; conservation earthworks; and pest management.
Medicinal Crops Project
Medicinal crops are becoming more common in Australia, with the introduction of new legislation allowing the production of cannabis for medical purposes. Combined with the longstanding use of opium poppies in pain relief, there is a demand for skills in growing plants for medicinal purposes. While many of the skills required are similar those used for other crops, some specialist knowledge is needed in growing and harvesting cannabis and poppies. As part of this project new units will be developed to address these skills.
If you have experience in any of these areas, there are a number of steps you can take to get involved:
- Make sure your subscription preferences are up to date to receive newsletter updates on the project
- Express interest to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME) via the relevant project page
Provide feedback on the draft qualifications, skill sets and units of competency that the SMEs help draft. There will be two rounds of feedback for each project.