Australia's history is rich with farming life, with land full of crops and livestock covering 61 per cent of our country. Farming not only provides employment but also food and resources for people across the country and indeed the globe. As a major agricultural producer and exporter, more than 325,300 people are employed in agriculture sectors in Australia. It is a $155 billion a year industry and makes up approximately 12 per cent of our national GDP.
When it comes to careers, it appears fewer people are choosing life on the land. While heading to university or going straight into the workforce after school continues to be a right of passage for some, learning a trade is becoming more popular thanks to generous wages and efficient training. While the ongoing drought and tough conditions are proving a barrier to people taking on agricultural work, it appears a lack of training was also causing an issue.
Given the economic value and day to day importance of a successful farming and agricultural industry, more organisations are beginning to create rural training and employment programs and facilities to help stop the decrease in agricultural experts and the rural workforce. Training is not just limited to people wanting to start from scratch and learn the ways of the land, but is also available to those already in the industry who are looking to branch out into other areas or upskill themselves to help deal with current conditions.
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Educational institutions such as Yanco Agricultural High School have long supported rural training with a focus on providing a well-balanced and diverse educational program with a focus on agricultural pursuits. Other organisations such as Rural Skills Australia and Rural Training Australia work individually and in partnerships with the Australian Government and National Farmers' Federation to provide improved rural and related industry education and training, with a focus on enhancing not only the skills and capabilities of new entrants, but also existing workers and primary producers.
ChemCert is another training provider who has been working actively now for two decades to increase the level of training available and as the peak accreditation body, works with all industry sectors throughout Australia for the training, up-skilling and industry accreditation for users of Agricultural and Veterinary chemicals.
Like any training, courses and programs can seem expensive, however there is assistance available through the Australian Government and financial organisations, with loans, scholarships and other income support available to those completing studies or training.