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Ongoing project

People development strategy for the vegetable, potato, onion, and banana industries

Key research provider: RMCG

What's it all about?

This project is about building a People Development Strategy to guide future investment in building capacity and capability within the vegetable, potato, onion, and banana industries.

Like many industries across Australia and particularly for the horticulture sector, the vegetable, potato, onion and banana industries are facing challenges in attracting, developing and retaining labour, skilled and specialist workers. While there has been investment into training and leadership initiatives, this has often been opportunistic and reactive. This project engaged with industry to design a coordinated, clear and well-thought through People Development Strategy (Strategy). This will assist in focussing both efforts and funds and ensure industries are able to respond to present challenges and establish future skills for a high functioning and innovative horticulture industry.

The development of the Strategy to guide investment in people aligns with the Strategic Investment Plans for the five levied industries of vegetables, fresh potatoes, processed potatoes, onions and bananas. The desired outcomes is improved capability and an innovative culture to maximise investments in productivity and demand.

The project involved a desktop review of national examples of strategies, initiatives and case studies from across horticulture and other industries. This provided the base for engagement with a Project Advisory Group and industry interviews to build the strategy. An advisor from the Global Leadership Foundation provided input into current best practice and contemporary language to create a thorough Strategy for Hort Innovation, industry peak bodies and individual organisations.

The Strategy and Implementation Plan was structured around an overarching Framework that takes into account Industry Context and Enabling factors necessary for successful implementation. From there four key strategies were developed based on the key skill needs identified through the desktop and engagement:

  • Core skills and capabilities – maximise opportunities to develop and retain a diverse and collaborative workforce.
  • Digital skills and capabilities – leverage information, technology and intelligence systems that enhance productivity and connectivity.
  • Interpersonal and leadership skills and capabilities – recognise and develop emotionally healthy people and leaders at every level of industry.
  • Collaborate and partner with people at local, regional and national levels to ensure business continuity and success.

This multi-industry project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Banana, Onion, Potato - Fresh, Potato - Processing and Vegetable Funds