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Funding for AG-careers program welcomed

AGCAP success story Geoffrey Johnson, who is now a full-time employee of Merced Farming near Wee Waa.
AGCAP success story Geoffrey Johnson, who is now a full-time employee of Merced Farming near Wee Waa.
AGCAP success story Geoffrey Johnson, has the technical skills to contribute to harvesting efforts.
AGCAP success story Geoffrey Johnson, has the technical skills to contribute to harvesting efforts.

“Agribusiness employers in North West NSW are crying out for solutions to their skilled labour attraction and retention crisis. It’s rewarding to see that need recognised and funding granted for a program that can make a difference,” Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Chair Russell Stewart said. “Born in Narrabri, with the valuable assistance of the ‘Make It Work Foundation’ volunteers, the AgriBusiness Careers and Professions (AGCAP) program is one solution. I am delighted to announce that RDANI has received a $25,000 grant towards AGCAP participation growth, from the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Programme, administered by the NSW Department of Industry.”

RDANI is a long-time supporter and partner of the AgriBusiness Careers and Professions (AGCAP) program, producing a number of videos to show what it entails, how it has benefited young rural workers and addressed employer needs.

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 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.

“Once our quality young people head for the city, it’s years before we get them back, if at all. A big bonus of AGCAP is that participants can spend a minimal amount of time away from their home town,” Mr. Stewart said. “It’s time we took agribusiness careers and skills seriously – AGCAP achieves that”.

Daniel Kahl is the Business Manager of Merced Farming near Wee Waa, an agricultural enterprise with close to 20 permanent employees and over twice that in peak seasons. “We became involved with AGCAP a couple of years ago through our AGCAP Trainee Geoffrey Johnson. AGCAP made it possible for him to work out here one day a week and during his holidays, developing skills in the career he wanted, while also finishing his schooling,” he said.

“AGCAP delivered for Geoffrey and for this business. He is working full-time and we got a good, reliable local employee. There’s not a great deal of young skilled labour around and AGCAP is growing local talent,” Mr Kahl said.

The Distributed Campus model that underpins AGCAP links students with industry, researchers, academics and specialist teachers, providing them with the latest skills and knowledge required in the sustainable, high-tech agribusiness sector.

“The funding will enable RDA Northern Inland to undertake school workshops throughout the region, targeted agribusiness presentations, the creation of a web-based tool to connect students with employers and on-site enrichment excursions for students,” Mr. Stewart said.

“AGCAP was developed by local Industry, Students, Educators and Parents and is a great response to the needs of local agribusiness employers and young people, who want an agribusiness career and are not suited to the standard education model,” he said.

Checkout the AGCAP videos on YouTube:





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