Agriculture Skills Program Expands to Livestock Industry

Fee-free training will be rolled out to the livestock sector in the region and across NSW thanks to the expansion of a NSW Nationals Government program investing in upskilling and growing the agricultural workforce.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed the announcement saying the program is designed to deliver industry-relevant training, drawing on new and emerging technologies, with a focus on driving efficiency and productivity.

“Our State’s agriculture sector is already extremely dynamic and responsive, and this program will help us take it to the next level by giving more people the opportunity to gain industry specific skills,” Ms Cooke said.

“It will help farmers boost productivity, profitability and competitiveness, and create a highly skilled workforce that will drive the industry, and grow the economy for generations to come.

“Today’s announcement is all about investing in the next generation of NSW farmers and ensuing our farmers are getting the workers with the skills they need.”

Under the expanded program, livestock includes beef cattle, dairy, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, honey-bees, other livestock, animal management services used for commercial agricultural (food and fibre) production, and pest and disease management for these animals.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said from inception AgSkilled has focused on plant-based industries like cropping, cotton, viticulture and horticulture, where it has delivered approximately $9.6 million in training across the State since 2020.

“Almost 5,400 training places have been delivered through AgSkilled since mid-2020 and this expansion to the livestock sector will turbocharge the take-up of skills and training for the people driving an $8 billion industry,” Mr Toole said.

Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s record $3.1 billion skills budget was delivering more fee-free training opportunities than ever before.

“A single, streamlined training and workforce development program for the entire agricultural sector will generate more opportunities for people to get the skills they need for the jobs they want,” Mr Henskens said.

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the program is about removing barriers for people to get skilled for in-demand jobs.

“This program will help address industry workforce shortages, give more people the skills they need to secure meaningful employment and provide career development opportunities for those already in the industry.” For more information about AgSkilled 2.0, visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/education-and-training/vocational/vet-programs/agskilled.

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