An independent expert has been appointed to conduct a comprehensive study to ensure agricultural education and training meet future industry needs.
Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson joined the Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, to announce that the former Dean of Science and Agriculture at Charles Sturt University, Emeritus Professor Jim Pratley would conduct the study.
Professor Pratley is also the University’s Research Professor of Agriculture and secretary of the Australian Deans of Agriculture.
Ms Hodgkinson said agriculture contributed around $9 billion to the NSW economy every year so it was important to ensure education and training in the State were second to none.
“It is essential to put agricultural education and training firmly back on the agenda,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“Our agricultural industry in NSW provides food, fibre, raw materials and energy for Australia and the world.
“Agriculture impacts on all our lives,” she said.
“Whether we live in the cities or in rural and regional NSW, a sustainable and innovative farm sector is critical.”
Mr Piccoli said the sector needed to be equipped with an appropriately educated, trained and qualified workforce.
“There is also a clearly identified need for our young students to gain an understanding of food and fibre production,” Mr Piccoli said.
“The review will consider how NSW government-owned agricultural teaching institutions can best be positioned to develop the State’s workforce capability.
“It will also examine the effectiveness of government-owned research facilities in identifying and supporting best-practice for the industry.”
Terms of reference have been established and the independent report would be provided to the Government by 30 June 2013.
- Experienced teachers face skills tests (smh.com.au)