“21st Century Pathways to Careers in Agriculture” Building and enhancing the quality and currency of agricultural education programs and industry partnerships in the North Central region.
“Pathways to a Career in Agriculture in the 21st Century” is a two-part project that will take place over an 18-month period taking a systems approach where co-design with young people, schools, and industry will be integral to its success and sustainability into the future.
It will begin with a comprehensive review of current agricultural programs and identify challenges and opportunities at each of our cluster schools. Working with agricultural industries and employers across the north central region, we will explore initiatives available through external providers – virtual, industry immersion, tours, work experience, etc that could be available to north central students though more formalised partnerships with industry.
From this information, we will develop a framework for an innovative careers education program that explores the many facets of the 21st century agricultural workforce incorporating excellence in education (enhanced curriculum), excellence in training (SBATs, Work Experience and Immersion Programs) together with a clear alignment to SWL to increase the number of young people pursuing training at school in agriculture.
This will include small pilot projects (with industry) to “test” components of the Framework at each stage:
Exposure to agriculture as a Career Path (Years 7 & 8)
Exploration of agriculture as a Career Path (Years 9 & 10)
Education and Training that is innovative, engaging and diverse to meet the needs of employers in 21st century agriculture
Working in partnership with 8 North Central Cluster schools and the North Central Trade Training Centre (NCTTC), the North Central LLEN will test, review and evaluate the information and experiences that form part of the project which will result in the development of the framework for “21st Century Pathways to Careers in Agriculture”. The initiative will be supported by the North Central LLEN Careers and Pathways team (four career practitioners working in schools) who will assist with the pilot activities.
Staff from each of the cluster schools will be supported with training that focusses on curriculum innovation, an awareness of agricultural careers, how to maintain currency in the sector and the diverse range of opportunities, including utilising modern technology.
NCTTC staff delivering VET Agriculture, Animal Studies (and to a lesser extent Automotive, Engineering and Equine Studies which all have a link to agriculture) will be supported to enhance their ability to focus on curriculum innovation utilising modern technology and how to formalise local agricultural industry partnerships.
Sample Pilot Activities:
EXPOSURE TO AGRICULTURE AS A CAREER PATH (YEARS 7 & 8) Industry tours to large agricultural enterprises – eg. Boundary Bend Estate (Boort), Teys Feedlot, O’Connors (Birchip, St Arnaud and/or Swan Hill), Birchip Cropping Group (extension & agronomy), North Central/Wimmera/Mallee CMA (Natural Resource Management), Wimmera Grampians Water (Irrigation), Nutrien Ag (Supply Chain), Craig Henderson (diversified farm), Longrenong (agricultural training), PeaCo (Grain Receival).
EXPLORATION OF AGRICULTURE AS A CAREER PATH (YEARS 9 & 10)
Work experience placements – work with schools to provide innovative opportunities for students to learn about agriculture as a diverse career pathway
Virtual reality – participation in the VicLLENs VICE initiative
Production of videos that show the diverse range of career pathways for young people considering a career in agriculture (or to encourage them to consider agriculture as a career pathway)
Deep dive “events” that encompass agricultural industries as a whole and the different types of careers
within these – broadacre, horticulture, viticulture, livestock, supply chains, agribusiness
Agricultural Careers Expo as part of the Birchip Cropping Group Field Day in September (students from the 8 schools to attend) with stakeholders promoting the career pathways within their organisations (entry level and higher), eg. GRDC, Grain companies, Agri banks, etc.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING THAT IS INNOVATIVE, ENGAGING AND DIVERSE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF EMPLOYERS IN 21ST CENTURY AGRICULTURE It is our goal to grow the number of students from our eight schools participating in agricultural education and training at VCE level through participating in VET courses at the North Central Trade Training Centre (agriculture and animal studies), SWL placements, and internships programs.
In addition to educational and career aspiration outcomes which are integral to this project, we know there will be other benefits from young people being able to connect with students from other schools across the region, as well as efficiency for the agricultural sector who will participate in less events with greater reach and efficacy.
A comprehensive review of agricultural education and industry engagement (challenges and opportunities) at north central schools at this point in time
The creation of a map (co-designed with young people, schools and industry) that clearly shows the many and varied agricultural career pathways available to young people locally and regionally
The development of a transferrable framework for future use in schools promoting educational pathways to a career in Agriculture in the 21st Century which:
Develops locally relevant industry immersion experiences, workplace tours and work experience/immersion opportunities to increase student exposure to the variety of work in agriculture and related areas.
Enables better connections to local industry and understanding of local jobs and new industry technologies.
Establishes a shared practice network of Careers Teachers across our Cluster schools, and neighbouring areas, to increase the quality of agricultural careers advice
Leads to higher quality education and training opportunities for our students through the NCTTC, SBATS, SWL, work experience and immersion programs, and in the long term better traineeship/apprenticeship and employment opportunities
For more information about this project, contact Sue Gould on 0490 205 705 or email firstname.lastname@example.org