Julie’s Corner: Education and Training Update – April 08

Poultry Industry Training

The Queensland FarmBis Project is now completed and the final report submitted. However, there will be Project Evaluations conducted by the FarmBis State Planning Group during April and May to make sure that all project outcomes are fully captured. As an extension of the Queensland FarmBis project, a total of 11 egg industry personnel are signed up for Human Resource Management training in Toowoomba in May.

Training has also commenced in chicken meat welfare. This is the practical outcome of a research project conducted by Dr. John Barnett and Ms. Michelle Edge. A “train-the-trainer” training session was held on April 4 in Sydney for chicken meat growers and another on April 11 for chicken meat company personnel.

Further training in Information Technology, Occupational Health and Safety, Human Resource Management and Chicken Meat Animal Welfare is planned for later in the year. Discussions are also being held with selected industry personnel with a view to having trainers and potential trainers complete the Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, with sponsorship from the Poultry CRC.

Poultry Industry consultation on training

The Poultry CRC is sponsoring a meeting at the end of April to seek industry input concerning any gaps that currently exist in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) units of competency for training in poultry production. Chicken meat and egg industry representatives from the national and state farmers’ organisations and members of the Poultry CRC Education and Education Steering Committee members have been invited to participate in this process.

The meeting will also identify appropriate “skills sets” (groups of units of competency) which are relevant to the poultry industry and which the industry would like to have recognised formally for the purposes of funding, etc. The outcomes of the meeting will be circulated widely to members of the poultry industry and other interested personnel, prior to a submission being made to the AgriFoods Industry Skills Council for incorporation into the revision of the Rural Production Training package.

A major review is underway with the Rural Production, Amenity Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management training packages being merged into one training package. If you want to make sure that you receive a copy of the submission and any follow-up activities, please contact me at Julie Roberts or fax (02) 6773 3050.

Industry enrolments in Master of Science in Agriculture

Sponsored by the Poultry CRC, four industry personnel have enrolled in the Master of Science in Agriculture at the University of New England. This Masters degree is two-thirds coursework and one-third research project. All the coursework can be completed in Distance Education mode and the research projects will be completed in the workplace with a company supervisor, in addition to a university supervisor.

Postgraduate Certificate and Masters in Avian Health OnLine

The Poultry CRC is sponsoring one industry veterinarian to study for the Postgraduate Certificate in Avian Health OnLine at the University of Melbourne. A further three poultry personnel are being sponsored to continue on to the Masters Degree in Avian Health OnLine.

Postgraduate Student Report: Sonja Laine

Ms Sonja Laine has provided an interesting report on progress with her Ph.D. project looking at animal preferences in laying hens. Sonja is using a Y-maze to evaluate the preferences of laying hens for environmental factors such as the presence of another familiar hen, an unfamiliar hen or a dustbath. Sonja’s results will provide information on what factors increase or decrease fear and stress in laying hens, with the view to improving their welfare.

Secondary Schools Project

The extension of the highly successful Queensland Poultry Schools Program to other states (NSW, VIC, SA) is progressing under the leadership of Mr. Paul Kent from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries. Paul and I are planning to conduct a meeting of national and state agriculture teacher representatives later in the year to raise awareness about the project.

With best wishes,


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