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New Year, a new career in rural Queensland

ARE you looking for a new career in 2011? Primary industries is shaping up as the place to work in Australia with employment demand expected to increase by 27 100 jobs over the next five years.

According to the latest Queensland rural skills and training demand report from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), the current rural skills shortage means employers are urgently seeking new workers.

Di Edelman, Coordinator of Rural Industry Skilling in DEEDI, said a critical issue facing Queensland is the attraction and retention of a skilled rural workforce.

“Queensland employs around 84 900 people in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries,” Ms Edelman said.

“In recent years, rural businesses have struggled to maintain capacity due to a shortage of labour caused by competition from other industries, poor promotion, and an ageing population.

“Agriculture is reported to have the oldest workforce in Australia, with the average age for workers being 48 years.

“This has led to an urgent need to attract new people to the industry, and ensure they have the right skilling to work in today’s rural environment.

“The strongest job growth is expected in sheep, beef cattle and grain farming.

“The rural skills report surveyed producers statewide, who identified a need for generic skill sets across Queensland.

“Those skills include soil health and nutrition, weed identification and management, erosion and soil conservation, and pest management.”

Ms Edelman said that to develop these skill sets industry needs improved training delivery.

“Stronger partnerships are needed between industry and the training providers to better deliver targeted training,” said Ms Edelman.

“Producers want more e-learning tools to improve access to training.

“Traineeships and apprenticeships also need to be improved as a way to attract new workers to primary industries.

“The recommendations in the report will help the Department of Education and Training (DET) make targeted investment decisions in rural training.

“As a result of the 2008 report recommendation to increase animal laboratory research skills, The University of Queensland and DET have introduced a new Diploma in Animal Technology and welcomed their first graduates.

“It’s important that we continue to identify training needs to build a skilled workforce, and expand career opportunities for new people to enter primary industries.”

For a copy of Queensland rural skills and training demand report, visit 老域名deedi.qld.gov备案老域名 and click on ‘Agriculture’ or call 13 25 23.

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