Women working in the New South Wales cotton and grains industries have the opportunity to attend a professional development course designed to enhance their personal and business management skills.
The GROW course is being offered by Tocal College and administrated by House Paddock Training and Consulting, and funded through the AgSkilled program, a training initiative of the New South Wales Government, led by industry partners the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Cotton Australia.
Aimed at business owners, managers, and emerging managers, the six-day course is delivered in three, two day workshops over six months at regional locations throughout NSW.
The GROW course covers: personal development, inclusive of communication and networking, organisation, time management and leadership; work health and safety (WHS), covering how to meet legal requirements in a practical way; and staff management, specifically the legal requirements, managing staff performance and attracting and retaining staff.
GROW Project Manager Rebecca Fing said the first courses started in June last year and received excellent feedback from participants, with the next round now scheduled for delivery across NSW from June.
“GROW gives women the opportunity to assess their role in the business and build the tools and skills needed to be actively and effectively involved,” Mrs Fing said.
“Understanding how to manage your time is an eye-opening process, and one topic that proved particularly invaluable for the women in the first round of workshops.
“Additionally, WHS and staff management are two areas women are commonly involved in. The GROW course offers information on what is needed to meet legislative requirements and provides them with a practical framework, as well as the tools needed to implement these processes into their business.
“We were fortunate enough to engage with 60 amazing women in our first round of courses. We’ve since had the opportunity to incorporate their feedback, allowing us to fine tune and streamline the content of our second-round courses.”
Alison Hunter who works in a management role, on her family’s cattle, sheep and broadacre cropping business, Warroo Partnership at Garah completed the GROW course in March this year.
“The skills I learnt from Rebecca have been invaluable to the development of our business and I feel I am better equipped to make more informed decisions within many aspects of my role,” Ms Hunter said.
“The WHS module was excellent, you could spend hours trawling for information, but doing the module through GROW provides the critical information in the one place and gives you the tools and support to implement change. I’ve come away with a definite plan of what I need to do to transform how we prioritise the safety of everyone on our farm.
“I am also looking forward to implementing new skills following the human resources and industrial relations modules to ensure the smooth running on our recruitment process. Improving staff retention is something that will have a significant financial benefit to our business and in turn improve productivity.”
Ms Hunter said doing the course alongside like-minded women dealing with farming’s unique challenges was motivating, inspiring and reassuring.
“It is a challenge to get away for two days at a time, but it is also difficult and time consuming to source information on these topics yourself, so taking two days to attend the course was a more efficient use of my time. The quality of information I took away made all the effort and prior organisation worthwhile.”
Mrs Fing is now welcoming expressions of interest for the next round of courses which will run from June 2018 in the following locations:
Register your interest by contacting Rebecca on 0427 107 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claudia Vicary, AgSkilled
0409 043 774
Toni Somes, Cox Inall Communications
0427 878 387