New employment passport for agricultural workers

29 Jul, 2008 02:07 PM
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The rural skills passport is aimed at helping workers switch freely between mining and agriculture.
The rural skills passport is aimed at helping workers switch freely between mining and agriculture.

A new 'Rural Skills Passport' will encourage the exchange of labour between the agricultural and mining sectors, State Agriculture Minister Kim Chance says.

The 'Rural Skills Passport' has been developed by the Department of Agriculture and Food, in consultation with Mid West TAFE, the Mid West Development Commission, the Mid West Mining Alliance, Mingenew Irwin and Liebe grower groups.

Mr Chance said the passport was essentially a formal record of an agricultural worker's qualifications.

"The passport outlines a person's skills in technical areas, such as heavy machinery driving and maintenance, chemical handling, construction and earthworks, and as well as skills in supervision, negotiation and project management abilities," he said.

"In addition, the passport also highlights qualifications obtained, courses attended, and any community interests."

The passport was originally developed as part of a Department project looking at sustainable workforce options in the northern agricultural region.

But Mr Chance says the passport has the potential for broader application across other sectors and to be adopted State wide.

He said in addition to the passport, the Mid West Workforce Alliance had been formed to address labour issues in the northern agricultural region.

The Government is also examining how the agricultural and mining sectors in the region operate in an effort to gain a collective understanding of their respective labour requirements, Mr Chance said.

The inquiry will also look at how to further develop the required flexibility where labour exchange can occur freely between these sectors during their peek demand periods.

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