December 2018

The NSW Agrifood Industry Training Advisory Body (ITAB) was delighted to be one of the eleven successful organisations who were given a twelve-month contract to deliver advisory services in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, conversation land management, animal care and management, meat processing, food processing, racing and seafood.

The training packages that fall within our remit are:
• AHC: Agriculture, Horticulture Conversation Land Management
• ACM: Animal Care and Management
• AMP: Australian Meat Processing
• FBP: Food Processing
• RGR: Racing and Breeding
• SFI: Seafood Industry

The ITAB looks forward to working with our key stakeholder groups to ensure the ongoing strength of the Vocational Education and Training sector in NSW. The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change – Heraclitu

We continue to face change within our VET sector. When things change, people become concerned as to how they can effectively deal with issues. The NSW Agrifood ITAB is always willing to provide a listening ear and help industry with the VET conversation.

2018 Highlights

2018 has been another eventful year for the Agrifood ITAB and vocational education and training. As 2018 draws to a close I would like to share with you some highlights of the year.
Careers Speed dating in Gosford
The NSW Agrifood ITAB in conjunction with the other 10 NSW ITAB’S hosted an inaugural careers speed dating event on the 28th February 2018 on the Central Coast respectively. The ITAB invited careers advisors, primary industry teachers and Department of Education stakeholders from the local areas to update them on exciting career opportunities in their respective industries. The aim of the even was to foster local partnerships and connections between industry and schools. As a result of the event careers advisors on the central coast conducted an industry specific tour of production nurseries on the Central Coast and specifically Mangrove mountain. It is hoped that this will facilitate much needed school-based traineeships (SBT)and apprenticeships into the future.
Beekeeping School Based Traineeships Launch in the Central West
The ITAB with the assistance of Bruce White OAM organised the launch of the SBT in the Central West of NSW on the 5th April 2018. The launch was conducted at Kinross Walaroi School in Orange. It was well attended by over 50 students and key industry beekeeping stakeholders. A practical hands on experience was also held at the Beekeepers Inn at Mount Victoria. The launch resulted in 2 students signing up to a school-based traineeship in the Certificate III in Beekeeping. This takes the tally up to 9 from the initial launch late last year.
Baking School Based Apprenticeships Showcase Day in New England
The ITAB in conjunction with the Baking Association of Australia organised a showcase day for the Baking Industry in the New England Region on the 29th August 2018. The his was well attended with over 50 stakeholders including 33 students attending the baking showcase day at Moxon’s bakery in Armidale. Covered by the local press and social media, the showcase day received much attention from over NSW and nationally in the baking industry. As a result of the showcase day, 16 students signed up for work experience with 3 students now signed up for a school-based apprenticeship in the region. It is also anticipated that this showcase day will facilitate further interest in the baking industry. More showcase days in the baking industry are planned for 2019.
For more information on this showcase day please visit
Photo from Armidale Express 29th August 2018. Tony Smith BAA and school students at showcase day
Amenity Horticulture School Based Showcase Day in Western Sydney.
The ITAB with the assistance of the landscaping, production nursery and arboriculture industry were due to hold a showcase day for the 28th November 2018 at Andreasen’s Nursery at Kemps Creek, over 70 stakeholders and 39 students were registered to attend. Unfortunately, due to severe wet weather including lighting, the day had to be rescheduled. The new showcase day for the industry will be held on Thursday 28th February 2018 at Kemps Creek. If you are in the amenity horticulture industry and interested in participating, please contact the ITAB.
If you are interested in doing a showcase day for your industry, please contact the ITAB.
VET News
Expert Review of the VET sector
On 28 November 2018, the Government announced an Expert Review of the VET sector.
The Review will focus on how the Australian Government’s investment in VET could be more effective to provide Australians with the skills they need to be successful throughout their working life. It will also focus on ensuring Australian businesses, including small and family businesses and businesses in rural and regional areas, have the skills they need to support their business growth. Submissions close on 25 January 2019 at 11.59pm AEST.
Steven Joyce, the former New Zealand Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, will lead the Review. Mr Joyce was the architect of significant reforms to the apprenticeship and industry training system in New Zealand and will bring a fresh perspective based on the extensive work he led in this area as one of the most senior ministers in John Key’s national government.
Mr Joyce will engage with the community, and across sectors, and report to the Government in March 2019.
Regional Industry Education Partnerships (RIEP)
The Regional Industry Education Partnerships (RIEP) is a NSW Government initiative that will strengthen connections between local industry and secondary school communities and support students in planning their future career pathways.
The RIEP initiative will:
• build partnerships between employers and local schools
• support employers to engage with schools and share their expectations for their future workforce
• help students develop the skills they need to get a job; and
• strengthen links between what is learned at school and what is needed in the workplace.
RIEP will take advantage of local knowledge and networks to boost student engagement with local industry.
Ten dedicated, locally-based RIEP officers will be appointed throughout the network of Training Services NSW regional centres to provide state-wide coverage. RIEP officers will:
• Work with school staff on initiatives that engage local industries and support students to plan their career pathways
• Work with local employers to facilitate their access to local schools in order to promote careers within their business or industry.
• Facilitate activities where employers can communicate what they need in terms of skills and experience from young people entering their industry.
• Support school staff to promote the range of jobs and career opportunities available in the region to students and their parents; and
• Develop and provide resources and activities to increase the capacity of schools and industry to engage with each other.
Industry will be encouraged to support the new initiative by offering work placement and field visits. Employers will be invited to visit schools to show students the importance of various subjects at the school level and how they impact on workplace learning and engagement.
For more information contact your local RIEP officer: Region / Area RIEP Officer Contact Details Hunter & Central Coast
Helen Harvey
M: 0447 856 540 E:
Central Coast
Ken Rowley
M: 0427 122 493 E: Illawarra & South East NSW
Jenny Watts
M: 0418 246 838 E:
Sean Douglas
M: 0447 831 462 E: New England
New England
North Coast & Mid North Coast
Damon McCarthy
M: 0448 986 935 E:
Port Macquarie
Stacey Mitchell Bales
M: 0448 987 240 E: Riverina
Nathan Cooper
M: 0417 482 066 E: Western NSW
Grant Fish
M: 0447 840 516 E:
Jacquie Smith
M: 0447 817 662 E: Partnerships Team
Head Office
Fiona Buhler
P: 8267 7862 M: 0417 412 795 E:
Dean Mason
P: 8267 7639 E: Myskills website The Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training myskills website provides a portal for a range of VET resources, including career info and an industry-specific section that provides a list of popular occupations by sector. The information on the site is relevant for businesses and current and potential employees. Find out more here.
Training Packages update
Skills Impact is the Service Skills Organisation (SSO) who is responsible for the vocational training packages in the agrifood industries. For the latest news, please visit :
Congratulations to NSW winner/runner up at the 2018 Australian Training Awards
Apprentice of the Year Award 2018 Winner Michael Edwards Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician After 15 years working as a motor mechanic, mature-age apprentice Michael’s employer, Snowy Hydro Limited offered him the opportunity to take on a second trade. He completed a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, taking out the TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga Campus apprentice of the year in 2017. In the final ‘Capstone’ exam for his apprenticeship, Michael achieved the unprecedented result of 100 per cent in his practical exam and 93 per cent for the knowledge exam. It was the highest mark achieved at Wagga since the nationally written and validation assessment began. Snowy Hydro hold Michael in high esteem as he displays exemplary commitment as a mature-age apprentice with a dual qualification while juggling a young family.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award 2018 Runner-up Tarnisha Winsor Certificate III in Business Tarnisha began a School Based Traineeship in Business Services with the Upper Hunter Shire Council when she was in Year 10. She studied business services and completed the exam while she was still in Year 11. It was a fantastic opportunity for Tarnisha, giving her skills in the workplace and knowledge that she applies to her Year 12 studies, which she will complete this year. The 17-year-old school captain and Student Representative Council president was also the recipient of the Peter Hilder Memorial Award for an Indigenous VET student, and the Upper Hunter Shire Young Citizen of the Year 2018. Tarnisha credits her opportunities, accolades and growing confidence to her school-based traineeship with the council and Certificate II in Business through Tamworth Public Schools, saying she felt overwhelmed by the community’s faith in her and the encouragement received. Running the 2017 NAIDOC celebrations for the Upper Hunter Shire Council has been the pinnacle of Merriwa Central School Tarnisha’s blossoming career so far.

The NSW Agrifood ITAB would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a joyful and Happy New Year.
A final thought for 2018
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.
The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Winston Churchill
The NSW Agrifood ITAB acknowledges the financial support received by the Department of Industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.