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AGCAP Program Connects with Youth at AgQuip

NSW Farmers' Association CEO Matt Brand with AGCAP Coordinator and RDA Northern Inland Chair Russell Stewart at AgQuip.
NSW Farmers' Association CEO Matt Brand with AGCAP Coordinator and RDA Northern Inland Chair Russell Stewart at AgQuip.

Last week's successful AgQuip event at Gunnedah was a great opportunity to connect with young people interested in pursuing an agricultural or agribusiness career, according to Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Chair Russell Stewart.

RDANI collaborated with Prime Super and the NSW Farmers' Association to present information about the AgriBusiness Careers and Professions (AGCAP) program at AgQuip 2016.

AGCAP is a proven initiative that leads to rewarding careers in the modern agribusiness industry. Commencing in Year 10, the AGCAP program sees participants complete up to a Certificate III in Agriculture and do one (paid) day of work per week within a partner agribusiness, while completing high school. The skills they experience along the way are formally recognised. The program gives rural and regional students an efficient pathway to an Advanced Diploma at AGCAP Partner Tocal Agricultural College and then onto AGCAP Partner the University of New England (previous courses undertaken by AGCAP students means there can be as little as two years to complete a Bachelor Degree in Agriculture). The study options are flexible.  "The big plus is that participants get a head-start with every aspect, from experience in the industry to advanced standing in the academic qualifications," Mr Stewart said.

"Representing RDA Northern Inland, Project Officer Gary Fry discussed the AGCAP program with agriculture students from across the region and throughout NSW over the three days. We were pleased to note an increase in girls who are interested in agricultural careers."

"Our display in the NSW Farmers' Pavilion in the heart of the AgQuip site featured videos about the program and the insights of AGCAP participants, their employers and teachers. These inspiring videos are on YouTube."

"AgQuip was also an opportunity to connect with schools around the Northern Inland region. Gary visited a range of schools that were exhibitors at AgQuip, presenting staff with material about the AGCAP program directly. Some advised that they already take Agribusiness career training options seriously and facilitate a Certificate III in agriculture but it was clear that AGCAP could do much more for the right student."

"Our location at AgQuip was ideal," said Mr Stewart. "Staff of the NSW Farmers' Association work directly with the grass-roots of the agribusiness sector. They know we have an issue with the outward migration of quality young people from rural communities. CEO Matt Brand was positive about our efforts to address the issue through the AGCAP program."

Mr Stewart advised that RDANI will be visiting and talking with schools around the region about the AGCAP program over coming months.

RDANI received a $25,000 grant from the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Programme, administered by the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner towards growing AGCAP participation.

Checkout AGCAP videos on YouTube:

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