VegPRO education and training initiative
What’s it all about?
Beginning in early 2016, the VegPRO initiative provides targeted training programs to help upskill participants at all levels in the Australian vegetable industry. The specific program topics are guided by industry needs and nominations, with all growers encouraged to suggest areas in which they’d like to receive training via the simple web form at www.vegpro.com.au/training-needs-open-call.
Each training opportunity is offered for a set period of time. Topics to date have been many and varied, covering everything from general business management to work health and safety instruction and training and accreditation in chemical use.
The overarching VegPRO program is supported by the investment Vegetable industry education and training initiative (VG15028), while the specific training opportunities are added as VegPRO sub-projects (VG16031).
Current VegPRO sub-projects
This sub-project is supporting industry scholarships through to the year 2020, for levy-paying vegetable growers to take part in the PMA A-NZ Produce Executive Program. The Program is an intensive course for middle and high-level vegetable industry managers from across the supply chain to advance personal and professional development. Find more information on the PMA A-NZ website here, and look for scholarship call-outs in industry channels as the yearly opportunities open.
This sub-project is creating a digital induction resource for entry-level workers in the vegetable industry, which will be available for businesses to access through VegPRO when completed.
This sub-project has been facilitating a series of free workshops designed to help growers understand the legislative changes around the Horticulture Code of Conduct.
This sub-project is supporting pest and disease workshops that are offering information on pest and disease identification and management, and are helping growers to develop greater understanding around seasonality and reasons for infection, contamination and damage in vegetable crops.
Completed VegPRO sub-projects
This sub-project had a focus on workplace health and safety (WHS) for vegetable farms. It developed eight video resources to help growers make use of a suite of ‘VegWHS’ tools – VegWHS being the industry’s WHS resource, distributed to growers on a carrot-shaped USB. Learn more and access the videos here.
This sub-project ended in late 2018 and supported the delivery of practical, hands-on training to irrigation operators in the vegetable industry to improve crop yields, quality and profitability.
This sub-project facilitated training in negotiation and influencing for an audience of supervisors upwards, or anyone that dealt with staff, suppliers or logistic companies on a daily basis in the vegetable industry.
Running during 2018, this sub-project facilitated nationally-recognised Chemical Accreditation courses specific to the vegetable crops grown in each region where the training took place. They addressed two key national units of competency: preparing and applying chemicals (Level 3: AHCCHM303A) and transporting and storing chemicals (Level 3: AHCCHM304A).
Complementing the above investment, this sub-project delivered nationally-recognised chemical accreditation training on preparing and applying chemicals, and transporting and storing chemicals, with sessions being translated for Vietnamese and Cambodian participants.
Specific to vegetable growers who produce baby leaf products, this training delivered key information on the specific considerations and approaches for spraying these crops. Following the training, students were assessed in order to obtain a Farm Chemical Users Permit.
This 2018 training sub-project delivered free, one-day workshops providing insights, tools, resources and contacts to help vegetable industry participants develop value-added products.
In 2017, this sub-project delivered a focused training workshop on product development and innovation for vegetables and vegetable-containing products. Many of the resources extended during the workshop are available at www.veginnovations.com.au, a website for innovating new vegetable products established under previous Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund work.
This initiative is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund