Programs accelerating quality employees into the ag sector

From FLA General Manager, Bruce McConnel: One of the biggest challenges the agricultural industry has experienced previously has been attracting the best and brightest talent into our industry, and with competing forces in regional areas, such as the resource sector, it has been exacerbated.

However, we are seeing a movement over the last few of months around creating accelerated pathways for students, and people changing careers, to move into agriculture and food industries.

Examples of these accelerated pathway programs include Agfood Connect run through DGT Employment and Training in partnership with industry and the Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance run via the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, just to name a couple. These programs are doing their part to drive skilled employees into our region, and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) have been actively involved in supporting these range of programs.

Particularly now, when more people than ever are looking for work, and looking for long term sustainable careers, the agriculture industry is able to offer that opportunity to people. It’s exciting to see the level of Government and private industry support in creating these career pathways and employment opportunities.

In the ag industry, particularly during the COVID-19 impacts, we have been able to maintain, if not grow, the workforce proving that it is a long-term sustainable employer.

Some of these upskilling programs commenced before COVID-19 hit, but as the virus took effect we have seen them accelerate their growth and significance. These programs are now gaining traction due to businesses that have restructured, pivoted or temporarily closed their doors. They are providing an option for businesses to quickly access to a skilled workforce and suitable candidates who can hit the ground running and be productive very quickly.

Agriculture is one of those industries that continues to offer sustainable positions, and long-term careers with stability. This makes the ag industry a very attractive option for those seeking job security but also a diverse skillset.

We look forward to seeing this new breed of talent drive forward our innovative agricultural technology and farm productivity to deliver the best of the Darling Downs produce globally.

If you wish to get in touch to discuss these programs, please don’t hesitate to call the TSBE team at 4639 4600.