Education Program Update

Aisla Connolly, EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, NT FARMERS

For the last couple of months I have been hosting primary students on various farms as part of the “Kids 2 Farms” project. Given the time of year, the most popular ‘agtech’ activity has been the “Flying mangoes” – using drones to capture data.

Other activities included fertiliser rates to show waste and using QR codes for traceability of cotton. A QR code from a pair of jeans bought in Kmart advised that the cotton came from a farm in Katherine. A Year 1 student from Humpty Doo Primary School said their favourite part of the activity was “touching the cotton”, demonstrating the value of interactive, in-person agricultural experiences for young people.

I’d like to extend a big “thank you” to our Farmers who have hosted these school excursions.

NT Farmers also supported the CQU Project “Excited for Careers in Agriculture” with both in school activities and excursions to Coastal Plains Research Station during October. Thank you to the NT Government, Department of Industry Tourism & Trade, Agriculture Division for their support.

The ‘Fair Farms’ program provides assurance through third party auditing that participants treat their workers fairly. This social compliance training and certification program is designed to help growers improve their compliance with workplace laws and to demonstrate to buyers and the community that they treat workers in a fair, ethical, and responsible manner. The ‘Fair Farms’ program is open to all businesses and organisations in the Australian horticultural supply chain.

The ‘Imagine a Career in the Northern Forestry Industry’, supported by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, and NT Government is designed to excite, attract future employees and retain current personnel in the rapidly growing industry in the North.

The aim of the project is to ensure that industry: sustainably grows its workforce; improves employment outcomes in the forestry sector of northern Australia; and that, local communities share in the social and economic benefits of employment within the forestry sector.

The project will take place over 30 months, concluding at the end of 2024.

Project activities consist of:

  • High School excursions to showcase operations and various career opportunities
  • Think Tank Forums with school and university students
  • Pre-employment training program
  • A training needs analysis across the NT and Northern WA forestry industry
  • Upskilling current personnel with nationally recognised training for career progression opportunities

Engagement to date has included consultation with industry, registered training organisations and schools. The Career Educators Association of the NT hosted a workshop to provide knowledge on how the project could fit into the various levels of high school subjects, programs and what is required to be successful. If you would like more information on this project please contact me.

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