AN exclusive program has been established to build the professional skills of the next generation of agriculture students.
The Ag4U Career Pipeline Program is designed for final year university students studying an agricultural-related degree in Western Australia, who are seeking an opportunity to hone their professional skills before starting a career in the industry.
The online program has been developed by agricultural consultant and industry stalwart Erin Gorter and will see successful applicants participate in the industry-recognised program starting this year and delivered for years to come.
The program is open to the more than 165 final year students studying ag-related degrees at WA universities, including fishing, livestock, forestry, broadacre/grains, apiary, horticulture or viticulture.
Ms Gorter said she developed the Ag4U Career Pipeline Program to help prepare agriculture students for the sometimes daunting stepping stone from university into a rewarding career in WA's rich and diverse agricultural industries through a genuine and engaging program.
It is self-funded - so a completely independent, cross sectorial initiative.
"For many years I have felt that we, as an industry, could do more to help pull students that have made the decision to study agriculture through to a career in any number of WA primary industries," Ms Gorter said.
"There are so many opportunities out there for eager graduates and we need as many of them to want to join our industry as we can - I think we could do more to encourage and share with them skills to help them make the transition.
"Otherwise other industries which are on the front foot could lure them away."
Ms Gorter said through the program students would build crucial skills that were often taken for granted, such as networking and building a professional brand.
The program will also connect them with subject specialists and former students and industry professionals.
"In addition, the successful applicants will be paired with a mentor in the agricultural field of their interest, which will be invaluable in getting a real insight into how to make their career in agriculture a long-term and rewarding one," she said.
"The online program means that anyone - both students and industry - from the Kimberley to Esperance and anyone anywhere in between can participate without the expense and cost of travel and ensuring students from across the State can access the skills and networks they need to join the agriculture sector," Ms Gorter said.
"I would really like to hear from industry leaders and specialists who would be interested in being part of the program to share their knowledge and thoughts."
p More information, visit the Ag4U Career Pipeline Program Facebook page: facebook.com/Ag4U-Career-Pipeline-Program-105419537853985 or contact Erin Gorter on 0429 833 752 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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