A group of nine agriculture graduates from Japan who will spend the next year in the Bowen area as part of their training in horticulture.
Queensland's Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner says this initiative is providing a new avenue for growers to address skills shortages, consistent with the Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network’s (QAWN) goal of finding workforce solutions for local growers.
“The Japanese Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) has been sending trainees to the USA and Europe for 60 years, but this is the first time they have brought a group to Australia,” Mr Furner said. “This has been an initiative of the Bowen Chamber of Commerce who worked with the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association to see if there was an opportunity to collaborate with Trade and Investment Queensland and JAEC. The nine Japanese graduates will spend their first month here at Bowen TAFE sharpening up their English language skills before being sent to fruit and vegetable farms in the Whitsunday region for the remainder of their year-long practical training.”
The Minister said the program would benefit the individual horticultural growers and wider agriculture industry by developing stronger relationships with Japan, as a key export trading partner of fruit and vegetables.
“The graduates come from farming backgrounds in Japan and will be the future leaders in the sector,” he said. “We anticipate that there will be opportunities for the program to offer reciprocal arrangements for Australian growers to learn about the Japanese market and technologies being developed. The students will benefit from the experience and growers in the Whitsunday region will benefit from having someone with a strong interest in the horticulture industry, committed to their business for the entire season.
This project is co-funded with the support of the Queensland Government's International Education and Training Partnership Fund, managed by Study Queensland within Trade and Investment Queensland.
Source: Queensland Government