Workforce planning in agriculture: agricultural education and capacity building at the crossroads

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    Agriculture is a vital part of the Australian economy and is likely to remain so.Its ongoing viability however depends on having a well-qualified workforce atall levels. Current projections are that the gap between the availability of jobsand the supply of graduates is increasing and must be cause for concern. Theviability of the industry depends on continuing the innovation process throughresearch and development but the current support for higher degree students hasdeteriorated significantly in the last decade to the point of being unattractive tothe best students.All sectors of the industry have a vested interest in promoting careers in agriculturein order that their own workforce needs are addressed. The minimalist approach to the promotion of agriculture has allowed a negative image of the industry to be portrayed and the perception created that a career in agriculture is not attractive.The reality is however that there are great opportunities in an industry which is high tech, highly mechanised, involved with international marketing and environmental sustainability. Prospective students need to be properly informed and it is the industry as a whole which is responsible for ensuring that they are.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-41
    Number of pages15
    JournalFarm Policy Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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