Queensland has a long and proud history in agriculture. However, while it is part of the state’s past, it also represents the future for many apprentices seeking long-term employment.
According to the state government, there are more than 30,000 businesses actively involved in agriculture . This industry is now worth in excess of $10 billion to the Queensland economy every financial year.
With this much potential and worth to the state, it is important that both agricultural business and the government continue to share ideas in how to grow investment in this area. In recent days, Treasurer Curtis Pitt attended the Northern Queensland Economic Summit in Cairns and explained that the beef industry into Asia is one part of the agriculture sector that has the potential to expand significantly in the coming years.
Mr Pitt said Asia is predicted to demand 47 per cent of global beef exports within the next decade and Queensland is the state to take full advantage.
“Queensland is perfectly positioned to meet the demands of the new middle class given our reputation for quality, the size of our industry and our geographic position close to the market,” he said.
“That’s why we’re keen to leverage further investment in agriculture to help grow the Queensland economy and generate more jobs.”
Quality beef – prospect for more employment
For Queensland to supply continuous quality beef to the Asian market, there are a number of stepping stones. Firstly, business leaders and farmers have to increase supply and mitigate agriculture risks such as cattle movement and natural disasters.
Queensland Minister for Agriculture Bill Byrne described the future as “bright” if Queensland beef exporters can invest in quality.
“With strong global interest in quality beef, Queensland producers are well placed to meet the international demand for our products,” Mr Byrne summarised.
“Successfully executed, it will create more jobs for Queenslanders.”
Skill shortages could hamper progress
While the future looks positive, there is one element that can hold back success – skill shortages. Agriculture has faced many issues finding people with the passion and commitment to this part of the industry.
However, opportunities do exist and the number of apprenticeships and traineeships are growing across Queensland. According to the latest Rabobank Queensland Rural Confidence survey, 49 per cent of farmers believe the agricultural industry will grow over the next year – compared to 34 per cent last quarter.
With demand set to soar in the Queensland agriculture industry, now is the time for job seekers to build the foundations for the successful career through an apprenticeship or traineeship.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator