In Agriculture

Victoria Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

New Training Supports Grains Industry Workers

Victor P Taffa

Workers joining the grains industry for this season’s harvest will be quickly brought up to speed with necessary skills and knowledge, thanks to an online training package supported by the Victorian Government.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced $175,000 in funding from the Agriculture Workforce Plan for the Grains Industry Skills Development and Induction Program, which will be developed by Grain Producers Australia.

“These new training courses will prepare workers by giving them the knowledge to safely and quickly transition into a role in the grains industry.” Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes said.

“Grains workplaces are highly technical and workers need to have the best possible training to be kept safe and to make sure the important harvest work can be done.”

Training focuses on creating a safe and efficient workforce as peak harvest season arrives given that the availability of regular seasonal workers from overseas and interstate has been affected by border restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

New workers will complete comprehensive online courses covering farm safety, new hygiene and distancing practices and a thorough induction of what to expect during harvest. This includes understanding the main aspects of grain harvesting such as the operation of harvesters and chaser bins, grain handling and grain transportation.

An important part of the training will lay out for farm managers and centres how to effectively induct employees and how to provide a safe work environment. There will also be a section to support existing workers to get up to speed on best-practice farm safety.

Online training will be provided free of charge for Victorian businesses. The Agriculture Workforce Plan is also supporting other industry-led training programs including the Dairy Passport and Horticulture Farm Worker Induction Program.

“We thank the Victorian Government for this support for our online training program, which will give workers and employers the tools they need to create a safe, well-trained workforce for this harvest season and into the future.” Grain Producers Australia chair Andrew Weidemann said.

In addition to targeted skills development, the plan is supporting businesses in key agriculture and food processing industries through adaptation grants, job-matching, worker accommodation and relocation support and initiatives to help Victorian producers connect into new markets.

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