By Ian Atkinson – CEO, Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ)
NGIQ is an active member of the Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance (RJSA)* whose purpose and mission is to build a sustainable agricultural workforce for all of Queensland. RJSA also identifies workforce needs and works to find solutions to help deliver a secure future for Queensland agricultural industries. As primary producers, this includes the 1200 or more production nurseries in Queensland.
The RJSA just released a major study done on behalf of Jobs Queensland, the Queensland Agriculture Industry Workforce Plan 2022-2027. The Plan includes:
- An overview of the research and stakeholder consultation which draws the findings into recommendations and actions.
- Identifies current and emerging trends, and critical issues impacting the Queensland agriculture industry’s workforce.
- Identifies strategies to respond to skills needs and shortages affecting the growth, profitability, and productivity of Queensland’s agribusinesses over the next five years.
The actions that comprise the plan seek to ensure that critical gaps and needs are addressed by strengthening agribusinesses, raising awareness of career and employment opportunities in a changing industry, embedding AgTech and innovation, and developing education, training and career pathways.
The workforce plan is a plan for the future. It will require strategic collaboration, investment and strong partnerships involving industry members of the RJSA (including NGIQ) to develop a suitably skilled workforce. Without it, industry and economic growth will not be achieved.