A new aquaculture and agriculture tech skills hub will be established in Mackay with an aim to bring together industry, government and education providers to expedite career pathways and skilling solutions for the state's agriculture and aquaculture workforce.
The new skills hub was launched on May 20.
The project is a partnership between the Australian and Queensland governments, CQUniversity Australia and TAFE Queensland to deliver the sector's workforce with skills and capabilities through a funding agreement valued at almost $1.7 million.
The collaboration will engage with industry and community to develop training programs aligned to new career pathways and future occupations within the agribusiness sector including; aquaculture, horticulture, sugar and beef.
Training programs will be targeted at low and semi-skilled workers already within the sector to gain competencies in new skills and technology; to support the evolution of the agribusiness industry and future proof the region's aquaculture and agriculture workforce.
TAFE Queensland project director Robert Petherbridge said that the partnership would drive the uptake and demand for new technologies and automation in key industries across Queensland.
"This is an exciting time as we see the emergence of new jobs and industries in regional Queensland," he said.
"Driven by automation and new technologies, Queensland's agriculture and aquaculture industries are changing with jobs of the future being realised today.
"This means we need to provide targeted workforce strategies to reskill and upskill existing workers and new entry level programs to attract new entrants into our industries here.
"This is about regional skills, workforce development and new, exciting career pathways for existing and future workforces to get the skills they need for rewarding careers in Queensland's agriculture and aquaculture industries."
CQUniversity's VET Operations vice-president Peter Heilbuth said that CQUniversity was well placed to support the development of new skills and training packages for the sector due to the university's close engagement and research with the agricultural industry.
"CQUniversity has a strong track record when it comes to industry engagement in the agricultural sector and has been delivering research in the AgTech space for several years," he said.
"Using this knowledge and expertise of how automation and technology can be applied to industry will help to ensure we are developing and delivering industry relevant training packages that are applicable to current and future industry requirements.
"Along with this, we are also confident that emerging technologies and the uptake of hi-tech equipment within the industry will help to attract a new generation of professionals to the industry."
The project received $1.5 million in funding from the Australian government under Regional Recovery Partnerships, and additional cash and in-kind support delivered in partnership with the Queensland government and other partners to support existing plans and priorities within the region.
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