Thank you for your contributions and support this year as we worked to establish the Jobs and Skills Council for the agribusiness, fibre, food, furnishing, animal and environment care industries. Your insights helped shape the initial Workforce Plan, supported project work to improve training products, and supported research into the feasibility of a trade apprenticeship in agriculture. Your input into identifying skills and training needs, along with potential solutions, will support future learners and the skill needs of a group of industries that are crucial to Australia’s society, ecosystems and prosperity.

We wish you all a wonderful festive season and a happy new year. We will be taking a short break over the holiday from 22 December to 3 January and look forward to working with you in the new year.

New Projects Approved

The good news for pursuing improvements in skills and training is that the Department of Employment and Workforce Relations (DEWR) have approved eight projects to commence.

Two of these projects will explore challenges related to industry access to formal training. 

Low Enrolment Research: Examining stakeholder perspectives to investigate the factors contributing to low or no enrolment in qualifications, particularly when there is a demand for the training within the industry.

Project Manager: Ngaire Stratton [email protected]

Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and Employer Connections: Focused on improving visibility of training demand, this project explores options to connect employers with RTOs. Piloted in the racing and breeding industry, it aims to understand barriers hindering access to vocational training within the industry.

Project Manager: Ruth Geldard [email protected]

Four of the projects are training product development projects, as outlined in the Annual Training Product Development Plan.

Next Stage of the AMP Meat Processing Training Package Review: This project is a continuation of the project work in 2022 to update the AMP Training Package so that it is reflective of current industry skills requirements, compliant to training standards and ready for any future qualifications reform. Stage 2 will focus on three Certificate II meat processing qualifications in Food Services, Abattoirs and Meat Retailing.

Project manager: Lucinda O’Brien [email protected]
Training Industry Engagement Lead: Mark Wadsworth [email protected] 

*Livestock Farming and Feedlot: The Certificate III in Feedlot Operations and 78 units of competency will be reviewed, including ten that are proposed for deletion. Consultation on these units will focus on prerequisite chains, job roles and vocational specialisations. There will be an emphasis on both human and animal safety

Project Manager: Susie Falk [email protected]

*Rural Operations:  This project will undertake an in-depth analysis of how the AHC21216 Certificate II in Rural Operations is utilised, particularly in the northern region of Australia, followed by an update to the qualification so that its outcomes meet the unique needs of learners and workplaces in rural and remote areas.

Project Manager: Tom Vassallo [email protected]

*Shearing and Wool: Six qualifications and 33 units of competency will be reviewed to better reflect the skill level of the tasks described and the skills required by industry.

Project Manager: Penny McQueen [email protected]

*These three projects are proposed as part of a broader program of work to improve the AHC training package, which has been following a staged ‘unit sector’ approach since 2019.

Two projects will look at potential solutions to improve safety and training standards. Both of these projects will be piloted in the meat processing industry and will be managed by MINTRAC, as part of our collaborative partnership.

Meat Safety Induction (Agribusiness Safety Induction Pilot): Initiated by the Agriculture Workforce Working Group (AWWG) convened by the Federal Minister for Agriculture in March 2023, this project aims to improve workplace safety by establishing a nationally consistent, voluntary induction training program to be piloted in the meat industry. 

Project Manager: Georgia Smith [email protected]

National Training and Assessment Materials for Meat Processing: This project aims to develop nationally consistent training and assessment materials for the meat processing industry, promoting equal opportunities and addressing geographical or other inequalities in learner access to resources and assessments.

Project Manager: Kate Webster [email protected]   

These projects are crucial to explore opportunities to address workforce and skills challenges that you’ve indicated to us are important.

Technical Committees and subject matter experts will be established for each project. For more information about this please contact the relevant project manager.

We encourage input from all stakeholders. Throughout the projects, there will be various opportunities to have a say – over the phone, in workshops, through email or the online feedback hub.

Update your newsletter subscription preferences to receive information on projects relevant to your industries of interest.

Organisations involved in the industries we work with are welcome to become a Member. Members who are interested in applying their governance skills to the JSC activities and projects are welcome to apply to be on a Formal Network, which also contributes to the Stakeholder Forum. These are key governance structures that help guide the work of the JSC. Please contact Robbie at [email protected] for more information.