As a young woman in agriculture Claudia Vicary understands as well as anyone the value of training when it comes to shaping and progressing careers.
“A willingness to learn and having the opportunity to access training is empowering for individuals and at a farm business level can really drive productivity and profitability,” she explained.
“In essence, training, formal or otherwise underpins all aspects of agriculture - it can develop farm businesses and assist with employee career progression and staff retention on farm.”
Fittingly, given her enthusiasm for learning, Ms Vicary is the newly appointed Project Officer for an innovative initiative led by the New South Wales Government, in conjunction with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Cotton Australia designed to provide vocational training for the cotton and grains industries.
The AgSkilled initiative, announced in December 2016 by the Deputy Premier of NSW and Minister for Skills John Barilaro, has allocated $14.7 million over three-years to increase staff skill levels and attract industry newcomers with the aim of improving the productivity and profitability of both industries.
The first training programs under the initiative were launched in July, after a grassroots survey of grains and cotton employers and employees to assess industry training needs across regional NSW.
This month Ms Vicary will be onsite at the Commonwealth Bank AgQuip Field Days at Gunnedah from August 22-24 to talk with employers and employees from the grains and cotton industries about how they can take advantage of the diverse range of training options on offer as part of the AgSkilled initiative.
The young Project Officer, who grew up on her family’s mixed farming operation at Barrett’s Creek in northern NSW and has agriculture and law degrees from the University of New England, said she was committed to getting the AgSkilled training message out to those working on the land.
Part of the AgSkilled brief is to deliver industry-identified, accredited training to regional and rural areas with wide ranging courses on offer from drone operation, to integrated pest control, welding, basic machinery maintenance and commodity marketing.
“AgSkilled is committed to bringing the training, which employers, employees and those keen to get a start in the agricultural sector need, to regional and remote areas that may not have offered these learning opportunities in the past,” Ms Vicary said.
“The program is about driving the productivity, profitability and competitiveness of the cotton and grains industries by developing a workforce capable of managing current and future challenges.”
If you are involved in the grains or cotton industry and are keen to hear more about the AgSkilled training opportunities and how they could benefit you or your employees catch up with Ms Vicary at the AgSkilled stand at the Commonwealth Bank AgQuip Field Days in Gunnedah on August 22-24.
The AgSkilled stand will be located within the GRDC stand at site i24b for the duration of the field days.
Claudia Vicary, AgSkilled Project Officer
0409 043 774
Cox Inall Communications
0427 878 387