$14.7 Million to Boost Agri Skills

The NSW Government is working with peak grain and cotton industry bodies to provide $14.7 million worth of subsidised training over three years to help the NSW agri-sector attract new workers and retain and upskill existing workers.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro said the Government was working with Cotton Australia and the Grains Research Development Corporation to deliver an accredited training program under Smart and Skilled.

Wheat Harvester"Agriculture has a vital role to play in the State’s economy - the grains and cotton industries alone are worth some $4.37 billion.

"It’s incredibly important that we continue to invest in skills and training both for existing agri-jobs and the agri-jobs of tomorrow.

"Our $14.7 million investment through Smart and Skilled will help the industry build skills in areas including use of farm machinery, health and safety, and business management and also in emerging technologies including use of drones and satellite data in agriculture.

Mr Barilaro said agriculture has been identified as a key growth sector for the NSW economy.

"Our Agriculture Industry Action Plan is a government-industry partnership designed to help increase the value of the agriculture sector by 30 per cent by 2020."

Adam Kay, CEO at Cotton Australia said the support would provide new pathways to skills for the State's agricultural workforce.

"The cotton industry alone is worth around $1 billion to the nation's economy each year and it's an important driver of economic activity in dozens of rural and regional communities in NSW.

"We're constantly looking at new ways to develop and foster our workforce to ensure we have access to the best labour, education and skills now and in the future.

"We're delighted to be working with the NSW Government on this exciting new opportunity to gear up our people with the best quality and latest training with support under Smart and Skilled."

Page last updated: 12 January 2017