The successful AgProspects program to help Bundaberg Region residents into farm jobs has been extended after positive early results.
Applications for the second AgProspects pre-employment program are open to provide local people with skills to work within the agricultural industry.
The AgProspects Pre-Employment Program is an initiative developed in collaboration with regional horticulture producers who have specific skills required for employment opportunities on their farms.
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Agriculture (BFVG) workforce officer Kylie Jackson said the initial AgProspects pre-employment program held last year was successful, with several locals gaining employment on completion of the course.
Kylie said the aim was to develop a skilled transferable workforce that can work across multiple seasons, potentially giving participants 12 months employment.
The program is run over several weeks. It includes four weeks of intensive training to build the skills and knowledge of the participants, followed by 1-2 weeks of unpaid on-farm work experience shared between host employers to cement knowledge with practical experience.
Kylie said Ag Prospects pre-employment program is open to anyone willing to gain skills that would not only help them secure employment in the agricultural industry, but these skills were also transferrable to other fields in the Bundaberg Region.
“It is a pre-employment program which will give participants skills that are transferrable to multiple jobs in the region,” Kylie said.
AgProspects program has positive results
Kylie said during the first AgProspects pre-employment program, 10 jobseekers participated in the program designed for two local farms that required targeted skills developed for employment opportunities in their respective harvest seasons.
“The participants completed a combination of intensive accredited and industry specific non-accredited training and workshops over a six-week period, followed by two weeks unpaid work experience split between the two farms,” she said.
“The work experience component was a vital trial opportunity for the farms and as a result, seven of the jobseekers were offered employment with their first host work experience.
“With such great outcomes, both participating farms expressed they would like to recruit through this mechanism for their 2021 seasons.”
Peirson Trust Memorial general manager Adrian Crush said he was happy with program last year and he hoped it would continue.
“(I’m) so pleased with the whole program. It is so great to see the change in these students over the time of course of the program,” Adrian said.
“This course needs to continue so we can help more of these unemployed get out of the rut and give them purpose and meaning to their lives.”
Applications for the AgProspects program will now close on 13 January, with the program to start on 25 January. For more information or to apply click here.
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