New resources to help cultivate the next generation of agricultural workers

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School student looking through lens in lesson

A range of new resources released today will help teachers and advisors encourage young people to consider a career in Australia’s constantly evolving and modern agriculture industry.

The resources make up the second part of the Cultivating the Next Generation research project, compiled and delivered by AgriFutures Australia and CQUniversity, with funding from the Australian Government.

Stage one of the project, carried out in 2023, aimed to better understand educators’ perceptions and knowledge regarding the agriculture industry and subsequent careers in the industry.

It offered valuable insights into the perspectives and challenges faced by teachers, career advisors, and school leadership, including the need for more resources and support to help educators fully understand the breadth of job opportunities across Australian agriculture.

Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt, said the agriculture sector has a great opportunity to redefine itself in students’ minds.

“A career in ag is exciting and diverse, whether you want to work with your hands or in an office, in the country or the city.

“So many young people are interested in sustainability and technology and that’s exactly what ag careers offer.

“I’m proud to see Aussie schools and AgriFutures working hard to foster our next generation of agriculture workers, and can’t wait to see the footprint they make on the industry.”

New resources and learning opportunities

The new resources released today include all five recommendations put forward as part of stage one of the project, they are:

  1. Curriculum-aligned lessons for five subject areas including agriculture, science, food technology, business and digital technology.
  2. 20 video case studies of agriculture industry ambassadors showcasing the diverse range of jobs available in the sector.
  3. Work placement guides for industry, schools and students to assist with organising valuable work placements for students.
  4. In person and online professional development workshops that delivered training to 247 educators to increase their confidence to promote careers in agriculture.
  5. Industry excursions across every state and territory that involved 19 schools, over 500 students and 35 teachers.

Each resource was trialed through a national outreach program designed to enhance Year 9-12 students and educators knowledge and perceptions of the numerous agricultural career opportunities across Australia.

Managing Director AgriFutures Australia, John Harvey said the agriculture industry, including fisheries and forestry, must do more to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce.

“Our future workforce is dependent on the next generation seeing agriculture as an industry of choice, and critical to this is the role educators play in encouraging students towards a career in agriculture and we want to do everything we can to make that happen.

“It’s crucial that students are informed about the diverse career opportunities within agriculture, and more importantly view it as an attractive employment choice.

“We need to show young people that careers in agriculture are not only rewarding, but also essential for our future, playing an important role in environmental management and food security,” Mr Harvey said.

Lead researcher Associate Professor CQUniversity Australia, Amy Cosby, says the responsibility for promoting careers in agriculture extends beyond career advisors and emphasises the role industry can play in connecting students to agricultural careers.

“It’s important that the agriculture industry provides support to the education sector to enable opportunities and provide knowledge.

“There are so many unique and varied roles in agriculture, and they all require different skills-sets, and interests but the difficulty is in getting people to go beyond their thinking of what a career in agriculture could look like, that’s where the face-to-face interaction and learning experiences are just so important.”

The resources from both stages of the project are now available for free on the AgriFutures Australia website.

Media contact
Ingrid Lee-Scott
Dentsu Creative Public Relations
| 0410 047 767

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