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Considering an Australian Agricultural Apprenticeship?

By Sonya Buck, Australia


Things are looking promising for Australian agriculture with production value tipped to pass $60 billion for the first time this year, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).


The good news is, with growth comes employment and this is very positive news for those entering the industry.


Agriculture offers so many careers and you could work in areas as diverse as animal care, landscaping, horticulture, winemaking or in a fishery. Agricultural apprenticeships offer pathways into the industry’s many subsectors.


Working in Australian agriculture offers so many positives including the obvious, working in the best outdoor office in the world.


Apprenticeships are jobs that combine paid work and structured training. Structured training can be done either on-the-job or off-the-job training at a TAFE or another Registered Training Organisation (RTO). At the end of your study, you can obtain a nationally recognised qualification.


One of the main reasons given by employers for rejecting job applications is a candidate’s lack of experience; apprenticeships address this issue and provide you with the workforce experience you need to ‘get a foot in the door.’


Should you wish to become an apprentice, your wage depends on how much prior experience and education you have, plus your age. There are awards and protections provided by a scheme called the National Training Wage Award System. But remember to be prepared, with all starter jobs you can’t expect a high level of pay when you are just starting off.


Apprenticeships typically take place over 3 to 4 years and this may seem like an eternity particularly for the younger job seekers, but remember they provide a solid foundation for your career. If you would like a head start on your apprenticeship, many can commence during high school. More information on high school apprenticeships can be found here.


Rural traineeships such as those held at the well-respected Tocal Agricultural Centre in Paterson NSW, offer a great kickstart to your career in agriculture. You can also check out what is offered by your local TAFE institutes throughout Australia and other Recognised Training Organisations (RTOs). Some of the TAFE courses are available online. Helpful information can also be found on the Government website Australian Apprenticeships.


Remember apprenticeships are not just on offer for the young, there are many adult apprenticeships available.


When choosing the part of the industry you wish to work in there are two important factors to consider – whether there will be jobs available in that industry subsector into the future and if it’s something you are interested in or enjoy.


As they say, “Find a Job You Love and You'll Never Work a Day in Your Life.”