AN innovative national training partnership between Advance TAFE and OneHarvest, the parent company of local salad manufacturer Vegco, has been launched.
OneHarvest, which also has operations in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, employs more than 650 people at its sites.
It has appointed Advance TAFE to handle all its national training for its various businesses including salad processing, farming, sales and marketing.
It also launched two major job and career initiatives nationally to educate the community about the benefits of fresh, Australian food, from primary school years onwards, and to promote the wide range of jobs at all levels available in the food sector.
OneHarvest’s chief executive officer Robin Poynton said this was a huge vote of confidence in a regional education institution, which was justly deserved.
“We could have selected a partner in our home state of Queensland or from any of the other capital cities in which we have operations, but we chose Advance TAFE out of Bairnsdale,” he said.
“They have proven themselves as an extremely capable partner in delivering our training programs and culturally they are a great fit for our business”.
Skills and Higher Education and Teaching Profession Minister Peter Hall launched the initiative in Bairnsdale last week.
He told the gathering he was “blown out of the water” by the national initiative, which he saw as an ideal example of the type of relationship that TAFEs should have with industry sector.
He said it restored his faith in TAFEs and industry engaging for mutual benefit, creating training programs that were tailor-made for industry needs.
“This is the sort of thing that we, as a government, should be encouraging,” he said.
Advance TAFE CEO Peter Heilbuth said it was an exciting initiative which would provide training and pathways into a range of jobs.
“We are delighted to expand our relationship with OneHarvest/Vegco, and we are confident the program will help to highlight the great job opportunities available in this region,” he said.
Training will include Horticultural Certificates two, three and four or Food Processing Certificates two and three.
As well as announcing the arrangement with Advance TAFE, OneHarvest also launched its Talent Pathways program, aimed at attracting high calibre young people to its national businesses and providing them with career development opportunities.
This program will focus on engaging with school students to teach them where their food comes from, Year 10-12 school-based traineeships, graduating student traineeships, plus internships and graduate programs.
This program will also include ‘Working Adventures’, a website aimed at graduating students who want to have a working holiday during the increasingly popular gap year between school and university.
Participants have the opportunity of working in locations as diverse as Perth, Darwin, far north Queensland, Adelaide and east Gippsland.