Rural skills win for school-based trainees
Rural Skills Australia has helped to obtain funding through the NSW State Training Services to provide important training and mentoring for 12 new school-based trainees in the Hunter Valley region of NSW.
The school-based trainees were engaged by the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association as a first step in a career in Australia’s horse breeding industry, involving the care, mating, raising, marketing and management of valuable bloodstock.
But skilled trainer/mentors are needed to guide students with on-the-job skills and training.
Australian Apprenticeships Adviser in Hunter and Northern NSW, Melody Green, said Rural Skills Australia had played a central role in the application process.
Melody said Rural Skills Australia and Hunter TAFE worked with the NSW State Training Services to apply successfully for the mentoring funding under the strategic skills program funding.
“It is essential that we can offer skilled mentoring to school-based trainees to ensure the future of such an important industry,” Melody said.
Horse breeding is crucial to the national horse industry, which comprises thoroughbred and harness racing, breeding and equestrian organisations and businesses. These industries contribute an estimated $6.3 billion to Australia’s gross domestic product. See Horse Breeding in the Rural Career Guide.
Horse breeding occurs throughout Australia and creates many investment and career opportunities in rural and urban communities. The export of live horses is comparable in value with live cattle and sheep, going to New Zealand, Asia and South Africa.
Partners in the project include the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Hunter TAFE Business Services (which will deliver the mentoring program) and funding is from Hunter State Training Services.
The mentors will complete their training before providing coaching to the school-based trainees. All states offer a VET in Schools program as part of usual school studies. Around a third of senior secondary students are enrolled in a VET in Schools course through Australia.
They enable students to earn credits towards recognised VET qualifications while completing the general education curriculum or working towards a senior secondary certificate.
The Strategic Skills Program is a NSW Government funded training fund that purchases training from Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to address the strategic skill needs of industry administered through the NSW State Training Services.