Changing the immediate labour shortage and it's negative impact on the agriculture sector has always been a passion of Emerald's Meg McCosker.
Determined to improve agricultural employment opportunities in the Central Highlands and Central West, she recently joined the Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning (CHRRUP) team as an Agriculture workforce officer.
Meg was born and raised in Emerald and continues to be involved with her family on a mixed cropping and livestock operation east of town.
Upon graduating high school, Meg went on to complete a Bachelor of Agriculture, majoring in Crop Science and Agribusiness at CQUniversity.
Prior to the Agriculture Workforce role, she was an agronomist at Spackman Iker Ag Consulting, working across the Central Highlands region.
Four months into her new role, Ms McCosker said she looks forward to providing advice to agribusinesses with guidance on workforce attraction, recruitment and development.
"Improving work opportunities in the agriculture industry has been something I've been really passionate about and agriculture as a whole is something that I'm really passionate about, which is why this role is so interesting," Ms McCosker said.
"I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm so learned to do many of the day-to-day jobs that are involved on farm, but there's a lot of things that people aren't exposed to so are unable to get the practical experience that many employers look for.
"The workforce is crying out for people that have experience or are willing to learn."
Meg's role includes running and facilitating projects that will help the Central Highlands and the Central West region with the issues that they are experiencing with the workforce.
Ms McCosker said it might include running small training courses or trying to help bridge that gap between the agribusiness and jobseeker.
"I want to be here as a support to agribusinesses, particularly in the workforce space in the region," she said.
"My role is to support and identify current and emerging ag workforce availability and capability issues throughout the Central Highlands and the Central West
"It's also helping drive industry growth in rural jobs growth, by providing agribusinesses with the support that they need to help with attraction and retention of staff.
Having worked as an agronomist for over two years, Meg said it enabled her to understand the challenges with attracting more people into the workforce.
"When this position with CHRRUP came up it was something that really interested me," she said.
"The more I read into it the more I realised that workforce support is needed in our industry."
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