In drought stricken Victoria farmers are doing TAFE courses to find new career paths and to supplement on farm income.
Based at Indigo Shire Council in the NE, Rom Reillly, Rural Skills Connect (pdf file) Project Manager, has been instrumental in getting over 170 farmers to take advantage of the program being run in Indigo, Alpine, Wodonga and Towong Shires. He says
“I have organised training for farmers in everything from coffee making to truck driving. The program helps farmers stay on the land by supplementing the on farm income, as well as introducing them to other career paths.”
Eight farmers in Indigo Shire will graduate from a five day course in earthmoving today, 4 September at a local farmer’s property near Rutherglen, as part of the Rural Skills Connect program being run across North East Victoria by the State Government’s Regional Development Victoria.
Wodonga TAFE’s National Industrial Skills Training Centre (NISTC) delivered the five day certificate course on earthmoving to the farmers, who will receive a Victorian licence for an excavator and articulated front end loader with the aim of accessing off farm work.
“The blokes on this recent course have really enjoyed getting together and shifting some dirt around. We’ve had farmers of all ages, from 17 year old Justin Foggerty to his uncle Chris Foggerty,” said Sput Lowry, Manager of Wodonga TAFE’s National Industrial Skills Training Centre.
This is the third earthmoving course delivered to farmers in North East Victoria as part of the Rural Skills Connect program. The program has been developed to connect farmers to employers through formal training and other support initiatives and aims to match qualified and job-ready candidates with existing job vacancies.
The program finishes at the end of September and Rom has helped 254 farmers to complete the program so far.
Call Sput Lowry, Manager of Wodonga TAFE’s National Industrial Skills Training Centre on 0438 942 316
Good to be able to stay where your heart is..