Employment in Agriculture is changing: Routine employment is being replaced by mechanisation, computerisation and robotics. Such changes increase demand for higher skilled and well trained personnel as these industries transition to a higher tech and stronger science requirement – thus there is growing demand for well-trained, innovative and passionate young people to build positive and financially rewarding agricultural careers. Currently there exist on average 4-5 job opportunities for each university graduate in agriculture and horticulture.
It follows then that there is every reason, apart from awareness, opportunity and support, for First Nations youth and youth from low SES categories to take advantage of this opportunity to build their careers. We have identified several barriers that, if overcome, could deliver life changing outcomes for such individuals and for the communities they serve.
Charles Sturt University wishes to create opportunities for First Nations and students from low socio-economic backgrounds to attend university for agricultural and horticultural studies that position them for long term well-remunerated employment. In so doing these trained and qualified students will contribute significantly to a build-up in workforce capacity in these essential and rural-based industries where the increase in availability of workforce is a regional and national imperative.