Peak horticulture body Growcom and Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network are partnering with Townsville-based trade
training school TEC-NQ to deliver a program of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-related diplomas.
The program is being supported by the Federal Government.
The Government’s P-Tech group is promoting industry and education collaboration on STEM subjects.
Growcom Hort360 innovation coach Steve Tiley said employment trends were forecasting large scale transformation in the agricultural sector and demand for new workforce development would open up new employment opportunities.
Technology would create demand for agricultural technicians skilled in identifying, integrating, operating, maintaining and repairing existing and new technologies. Mr Tiley said these areas could make up a third of the future agricultural workforce in North Queensland.
“I’ve seen this happen before in other industries,” Mr Tiley said.
“Innovations in technology are changing the agricultural sector and the skills we need for our future workforce.” Registered training organisation and boarding school TecNQ launched one of the 14 PTECH pilot programs in 2016 supported nationally by $5.1 million in funding from the Federal Government.
The STEM-focused PTECH program supports partnerships between senior secondary schools and local industry to equip students with the skills needed for the future.
Miller Wilmar Sugar and Ergon Energy are already partners with TEC-NQ.
The Federal Department of Education and Training has engaged the Skilling Australia Foundation to assist local stakeholders to implement PTECH learning programs at the 14 pilot sites.