As evidenced by their name, the Primary Industries play a pivotal role in our economy, and they currently face a number of challenges as well as opportunities. This situation of growth within the agricultural field has recently seen transformation in the way up-to-date, relevant training is offered to current and future primary producers. The Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC) is one of the training institutions offering their services to the industry. It incorporates the Emerald Agricultural College, the Longreach Pastoral College, and Rural Training Queensland (RTQ). RTQ has a distinctive approach, for it tailors its training to the needs of its clients, offering accredited programs in flexible delivery modes. According to the RTQ website, these programs contain ‘short course skills set training as well as Certificate and Diploma accredited courses, including to trainees, apprentices and school based learners’.
The overall purpose of the QATC is clearly stated on their website as: ‘to improve the economic prosperity and sustainability of rural and related industries and communities by improving the knowledge and skills of its existing and future workforce’. This focus on supporting the needs of the industry and communities is also shared by Vanderfield, a company that has always counted service, value for money, integrity, innovation, partnership and prosperity among its core values and whose branches seek ways to support their local communities. QATC, through Rural Training Queensland’s Senior Project Officer Allen Bruce and Vanderfield Gatton joined forces in mid-October to support a number of students enrolled in the Ipswich Grammar School’s agricultural program.
The students were completing either a Certificate II in Rural Operations or a Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management as part of their secondary studies, and they spent two days training at the Gatton showgrounds. Vanderfield provided four of the six tractors offered for the students to gain practical experience and improve their skills. RTQ Director Kayci Delaney saw the event as confirmation of how RTQ ‘works with industry leaders and schools to provide opportunities to the farmers of the future’, and went on to thank Vanderfield Gatton for having taken the opportunity to ‘support the future of agriculture in training the young leaders of tomorrow’.
Vanderfield Gatton manager Gary Beutel sees the event as part of his branch’s ‘ongoing commitment to community engagement’. Gary and his team are always pleased to have the opportunity to serve the agricultural community and, in this case, ‘to allow those students the hands-on experience and increase their understanding of how to safely operate agricultural machinery’. Gary further explains that this was not the first time they have been involved with providing machinery for Rural Training Queensland, and that Vanderfield Gatton recently also lent tractors for a group of employees of an oil and gas company to train on.
The 14 branches that Vanderfield has in Australia support many community projects. Each branch manager personally assesses requests for support, so, if your group is interested, use this link to see the instructions, or go to www.vanderfield.com.au, select the ‘Company’ tab at the top and, from the drop down menu, click on ‘Community Support’ for more informa- tion. If you are interested in what Rural Training Queensland has to offer, please visit rtq.edu.au or call 1800 888 710.