NSW Farmers welcomes the NSW Government’s Skilling for Recovery initiative, which will see $160 million dedicated to upskilling the NSW workforce as the state looks to recover from Covid-19.
The initiative, which includes upskilling opportunities in regional NSW, aligns with the NSW Farmers priority to grow regional areas sustainably through jobs, infrastructure and essential services.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson said investing in local workforce opportunities for regional NSW will benefit both our immediate recovery from Covid-19 and the state’s long-term productivity.
“Being home to around 40 percent of the state’s population, regional NSW plays a significant role in the state’s economy. With workforce needs changing in light of Covid-19, now is a great time to explore and build opportunities in regional NSW further,” Mr Jackson said.
“Regional NSW should not be sold as a lifestyle option. We need to build vibrant regions through investment in job prospects and infrastructure.”
“This means delivering education and vocational skills in regional areas, starting with the curriculums offered at school – they should have the breadth of those offered in metropolitan areas.”
Mr Jackson said it’s imperative the vocational and higher education pathways offered in regional NSW align with the opportunities available in those areas.
“TAFE and Registered Training Organisations should offer skills needed in regional communities.”
“We also need vibrant regional universities delivering qualifications and leading research that meet the needs of the agriculture sector and associated enterprises.”
“These education systems need to be underpinned by policy settings and funding that foster longevity and growth.”
“In our response to the NSW Productivity Commission’s Green Paper, we call for local delivery, a more flexible system and greater focus on skills for agriculture to lead innovation,” Mr Jackson concluded.