Community-based organisation Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning (CHRRUP) is launching a new initiative to boost agricultural training in Central Queensland.
LEADAg stands for leading, educating and developing the next generation of the agricultural workforce and will deliver hands-on, practical training supported by industry mentors to provide work ready skills.
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LEADAg working group chairperson and local councilor Christine Rolfe said agricultural training in CQ was identified as a gap from stakeholder feedback in a CHRRUP Forum in 2021 and that is where the idea for LEADAg began.
"We have taken that direction and run with it, we want to create a dynamic and practical program that meets the needs of local industry," Ms Rolfe said.
"We have seen agricultural training work really well in this region in the past and we want to get that happening again."
Ms Rolfe said while the initiative was being led by CHRRUP, it was harnessing the local knowledge and experiences of several key industry leaders.
"We have asked them to be in our working group because we want to make sure the training, we end up offering fits with what local industry and employers want," she said.
"We've already got some great ideas on the table and it's really just the beginning.
"There is already great community interest so we are working hard to have LEADAg up and running as soon as possible.
Queensland Senator Matthew Canavan has thrown his support behind the LEADAg initiative and said it would fill an important gap.
"LEADAg will contribute to a new, highly skilled workforce within the agricultural industry and it's great to see it's happening right here in central Queensland where so much of Australia's food and fibre is produced," Mr Canavan said.
"Because ag education has been offered here in the past, there is also an existing skillset in the region which makes it the perfect place for LEADAg to be developed."
LEADAg group is hoping to run a pilot program for at least one cohort of students in 2022.
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