The Queensland FarmBis Forum, which marks the completion of the Targetted Industry Initiative Project, was held in Brisbane last month. It was attended by representatives of all the projects, as well as members of the State Planning Group, and representatives from the AgriFood Industry Skills Council, the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Work Relations, and the Queensland Department of Education, Training and the Arts.

The poultry project’s outcomes were favourably received, largely because the project will lead on to further training initiatives. Members of the poultry project Steering Committee who attended, apart from myself, were Steve Teitzel (Queensland Chicken Growers’ Association), Paul Kent and Alison Spencer (QDPI&F), and Susan Gleeson (FarmGate Training).

Poultry Industry Consultation on training

The Poultry CRC sponsored a very successful meeting in April to seek industry input concerning any gaps in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) units of competency for training in poultry production. Fourteen people attended, representing egg and chicken meat industries from Qld, NSW, VIC, SA and WA. The AgriFood Industries Skills Council’s Michael Williams has circulated a draft document for comment.

Michael and I (with sponsorship from the Poultry CRC) are visiting farms in southern Queensland this month to compile a list of jobs conducted on poultry farms and the skills required. All this information will be compiled with feedback from the industry and fed into the revision process of the Rural Production Training Package.

To ensure you receive a copy of documents arising from this process, email me at Julie Robertsor fax (02) 6773 3050.

Undergraduate Vacation Internships and Graduate Industry Internships

In response to industry feedback on the need to recruit young people with undergraduate degrees, these internships are a new initiative of the Poultry CRC and are in addition to the internships currently available for Poultry CRC postgraduates who have completed their studies.

The undergraduate vacation internships are offered to students who are in, or at the end of, their second or third years of study to work on poultry related projects and may be available at participating universities.

The Graduate Industry Internships are for new bachelor degree graduates, or those who have graduated within the past two years, and constitute 12 months full-time with a Poultry CRC industry partner in Australia. For more information, please email me at Julie Roberts.

Poultry Training Materials

Revised versions of parts of the Murrumbidgee College poultry training materials will soon be circulated for industry input. Good progress is also being made on the “Virtual Chicken”, a computer animated educational resource covering basic chicken anatomy and physiology, to be available online and on DVD.

Postgraduate News

Two CRC scholarship holders based in the Sydney region attended a Postgraduate Networking dinner just prior to the CRC Association Conference in May. Gavin Parsci is a Poultry CRC PhD scholar at the University of NSW and Will Taylor is a former CRC Honours scholar, now working with Pepe’s Ducks.

Secondary Schools Project

The Queensland Poultry Schools Program is being extended to other states (NSW, VIC & SA) under the leadership of Paul Kent from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries. We are confident that additional schools will participate in 2009.

With best wishes,

Julie