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Western Australian Pork Industry Training a Success

by 5m Editor
17 August 2011, at 7:59am

AUSTRALIA - Western Australia’s pork industry has been strengthened with a specialised skills training programme producing nearly 70 graduates from two courses held over the past year.

The Chair of Pork Industry Training WA (PITWA) Bruce Mullan said the Skills Passport training initiative to build skills in the pork industry was succeeding well beyond expectations because of exceptional support from the local industry.

Dr Mullan, who is also Director of Livestock Industries Innovation with the Department of Agriculture and Food, said the initiative was launched last year to accredit 15 people with a Certificate 111 of Agriculture in Pig Production.

"However, because of the outstanding way industry got behind the project, we will be able to accredit nearly 70 people, with a third achieving Certificate 1V level by the end of this year," Dr Mullan said.

"The Skills Passport project has been able to cater for the increased numbers without extra money needed beyond the initial funding because of the support we’ve had from industry," Dr Mullan said.

"Everyone lined up behind the project to build skills in the WA pork industry, and they made it happen. A lot of experienced people in the industry gave their time free to assist with training, and to help ensure the project’s success."

Dr Mullan said the project was an excellent example of how government and industry could work together to improve practices and ensure markets for the future for its product.

"Without industry leaders and businesses donating their time and making their enterprises available for training, we would not have been able to accredit as many workers as we have."

Dr Mullan said the Pork Industry in Western Australia was continuing to strive to be a leader in pork production systems that ensured both high standards of animal welfare and quality of product entering the markets.

"A skilled workforce is crucial to our industry’s resilience and ability to manage the industry through the challenges confronting agriculture," he said.

The Pork Industry Training Skills Passport project received part funding from the Rural Business Development Corporation (RBDC) and the Pork Producers Committee of the Agricultural Produce Commission, and was assisted with staff and administrative support from the Department of Agriculture and Food, PITWA and the C.Y. O’Connor College of TAFE.

RBDC Chairman Rob Sands said the training process had benefits for both workers and managers participating in the project, over and above the compliance requirements under the animal welfare codes of practice.

Mr Sands said the project would not have achieved these outcomes without the enthusiastic support from industry members and enterprises, and because of the passion and dedication of the Pork Industry Training group.

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