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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Opening up ag career options

More than 140 Goulburn Valley secondary school students learnt about careers in agriculture and horticulture at the University of Melbourne’s Dookie Campus last Thursday.

May 13, 2014 3:07am

Jack Broughton tosses a fleece at Dookie .


 

 

 

 

More than 140 Goulburn Valley secondary school students learnt about careers in agriculture and horticulture at the University of Melbourne’s Dookie Campus last Thursday.

Goulburn Murray LLEN organised the day in partnership with a number of organisations including Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, National Centre of Dairy Education and Charles Sturt University.

Workshops on beef, dairy, wool, sheep and horticulture production and conservation were on the agenda.

Goulburn Murray LLEN partnership broker Kristen Elliot said the day’s aim was to educate students about the variety of occupations within the two industries and link young people to employers.

‘‘The industry needs young people who are energetic and highly motivated with high level skills,’’ Ms Elliot said.

 

‘‘The sector is changing, it’s a lot more about technology and innovation practices — students need to be highly skilled to enter the industry.

‘‘The days of low level skilled jobs are gone.’’

She said the horticulture and agriculture industries had to invest in skilled labour to meet growing demand for food and agriculture products from the Asia-Pacific region.

Ms Elliott said there was weak demand for agriculture and horticulture courses among school leavers as many had a negative impression of the industries.

‘‘Everyone has a different vision of what the agriculture and horticulture industries are about.

‘‘Not many people are choosing these industries and farms are having to employ more and more people.

‘‘They’re not finding good quality workers because students aren’t aware of the career pathways.’’

Ms Elliott said schools needed to work more closely with the industries to educate students on their tertiary options.

‘‘We want to highlight to students and schools that these industries are not the last resort — they’re a viable profession.’’

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