Agricultural extension work placement program
The Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program 2020–2022 is delivered by the Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance (led by Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF)) and funded by the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program.
What does the program do?
The program seeks to improve agricultural capacity through increased extension to support producers to advance or maintain their sustainable management practices that reduce nutrients, pesticides and sediment flowing from catchments to the Great Barrier Reef.
There are two elements to the program: building capacity in extension training and work placement which combine to:
- Address knowledge and skill gaps – through the delivery of workshops to regional extension and advisory personnel across the Great Barrier Reef catchments.
- Provide professional development – through participation in workshops tailored to address identified skill and knowledge gaps.
- Enhance extension coordination – by providing an opportunity for extension staff to come together and build stronger extension networks.
- Attract and train new employees – to address the gaps and needs for extension.
- Implement successional planning – for the experienced extension staff that are nearing retirement and have built strong relationships with farmers that are important to retain.
Hosting organisations that meet the program requirements are identified by QFF. These organisations are external to government and include private suppliers, industry bodies and natural resource management organisations.
Trainees, recent graduates and early career professionals within the first year of their career, are provided with employment and training opportunities within the hosting organisations. Twenty-one work-ready extension officers have graduated and are employed in agricultural extension roles since the program began in 2017.
Where is the program located?
The program is located across the Great Barrier Reef catchment. Workshops are strategically located and timed to obtain the highest level of participation from extension staff and trainees from the work placement program.
Organisations interested in hosting a work placement and individuals interested in participating in the program are encouraged to contact QFF or the Office of the Great Barrier Reef, Department of Environment and Science at OfficeoftheGBR@des.qld.gov.au