Of all the sectors looking for workers agriculture is the only one that gets its own subject in the school curriculum. How cool is that. 

Job vacancies rose 18.5 per cent to hit a record of 396,100 in the three months to November 30 as employers embarked on a hiring spree at the end of the delta lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported.

How is agriculture ensuring we are front of mind when young people make career choices?

How are we helping young people explore and connect with our sector.?

How are we supporting them to thrive when they get there?

At Action4Agriculture we have created an Action4Youth Workforce Strategy and Roadmap. It looks like this.

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Forever grateful to Professor Felicity Blackstock for helping us create our Action4Youth model

We have also identified there are numerous pain points on the journey that need addressing by the agriculture sector and the education system

There are a number of exciting people and organisations working in this space

One of those is  Scott Graham the current winner of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Secondary School Science Teachers

Scott is head of agriculture at Barker College. He is undertaking a PhD under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Jim Pratley et al

Last Monday I was one of 21 people who had the opportunity to listen to Scott’s HDR endorsement

This was a new opportunity for me and what I learnt gave me a lot to ruminate on

It reminded me to celebrate the advantages we have in the world of agriculture

There is a huge labour shortage out there “Employers wanted 400,000 workers before omicron hit”

And of all the sectors looking for workers agriculture is the only one that gets its own subject in the school curriculum. How cool is that. 

What Scott’s PhD is looking at is how do to we encourage more urban students to select agriculture as a subject with the ultimate aim they choose agricultural career pathways. Scott is ideally placed to research and report on this as he and Barker College have done a phenomenal job of the former and are keeping a close eye on the later

Barker College appears to be well and truly bucking the trend

Scott has identified the issues. Here is a few of them

At Action4Agriculture  we are complementing the work Scott is doing by tailoring our school programs to teachers and students NOT teaching/studying agriculture.  We are using similar principles to Scott and Barker College

Our programs are student-centred, individualised, contextual and culturally sensitive.

They involve key influencers, are accessible to all, can be targeted at specific groups when required and all evaluated for their effectiveness.

Students are mentored by our Young Farming Champions young people working in agriculture who are debunking stereotypes

  • Agriculture is not all Akubra’s and moleskins or mud and flies
  • 80% of jobs are off farm, 40% are in cities

Our Young Farming Champions represent the diversity of people in the agriculture sector. Students can see they are young people like them – they can be confident that they will fit in- that agriculture is a place where you feel identity safe.

What a great time to be on this journey with Scott with his research complementing our two year project with UNSW uni students working with BCG 

#action4youth #AGSTEMcareers

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

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