A program to attract the next generation of workers to the agricultural industry will be extended in 2024 to include participants over the age of 18.
The new course follows the successful LEADAg Youth Programs in 2022 and 2023, which received over 200 applications.
LEADAg is developed and delivered by CHRRUP, a community-owned, central Queensland based profit-for-purpose organisation dedicated to creating thriving, connected rural communities.
CHRRUP's Agriculture Workforce Officer Meg Bassingthwaighte said the new program, called LEADAg Plus, is a collaboration with new partner RESQ+, the employment service provider for Central West and Southwest Queensland.
“We are excited to be working with RESQ+ to offer LEADAg to a new group of participants, as previous years have shown us that there is a high demand for this type of experience,” Ms Bassingthwaighte said.
RESQ+ CEO Chris Hamilton said LEADAg aligns with his organisation’s goal to build more effective employment pathways in rural and remote Queensland.
“We believe the best way to build those pathways is to link up with other entities that already deliver great training programs and CHRRUP’s LEADAg program is well known and offers terrific opportunities, so we are happy to come on board and help extend it.”
“This initiative will go a long way towards highlighting the benefits of agricultural training amongst our youth of Central West & Southwest Queensland. The more we can help develop and enhance the training pathways, the better prepared our youth will be when they enter the workforce. This program will do all those things.”
Two groups of participants will be selected to undertake LEADAg Plus in Central West Queensland and Southwest Queensland. Both groups will complete the course over two one-week blocks in their chosen location.
The new program will be similar to the successful LEADAg Youth program, and will include fencing, small motor maintenance and operation, livestock husbandry and handling, wool shearing and classing, workforce wellbeing, livestock nutrition and pasture management.
Meg Bassingthwaighte said LEADAg Plus would also have a heavy focus on linking the students with producers and business owners in the region.
“Just as in previous LEADAg programs, we will be getting participants out onto working properties and into rural businesses so they can not only learn from the best, but also make connections and be exposed to the reality of living and working in these communities.”
LEADAg Plus is sponsored by RESQ Plus, and their corresponding funding partner the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), who administers the Community Development Program (CDP), with the aim to support job seekers in remote Australia to build skills, address barriers to employment and contribute to their communities through activities and training.