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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    Shaping the future of agriculture at Toowoomba TAFE

    Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    Shaping the future of agriculture at Toowoomba TAFE

    Toowoomba has secured its place as Queensland’s agricultural training hub with the official opening today of the Rural Centre of Excellence.

    Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman opened the $2.7 million centre at the city’s TAFE Queensland campus, highlighting the vital role it will play in the State’s $18.5 billion agriculture industry.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is passionate about growing Queensland’s agricultural sector,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “Almost 110 thousand Queenslanders are employed in the agriculture and food production industries and we have supported an additional 12,300 jobs in agriculture over the past year alone.

    “The new facility will deliver high-quality training to the state’s future rural industry workforce with around 100 students already enrolled to learn the latest practices in innovative sustainable agriculture and horticulture.

    “As we deal with the impact of a changing climate and rapidly developing technologies, we must be able to train future workers in the agriculture industry to meet this trend.

    “This new centre will provide hands-on learning for students to gain the knowledge and experience for more jobs in more industries.

    “The training centre welcomed its first group of students last week for the start of Semester 1 and has capacity for up to 300 students each year.”

    Ms Fentiman said the Centre’s courses covered modern primary industry technologies such as video analysis of stock in simulated saleyards, high yield farming methods and land use and mapping by smart bots and aerial drones.

    “Our engineering students will gain practical learning in feedlot maintenance and there is a controlled horticulture pod for our horticulture students.

    “The space will also allow livestock to be brought in for specialised workshops on animal nutrition and beef breeding.”

    “The Centre’s Vet Nursing Training Facility includes an assimilated veterinary surgery which will allow Certificates II and III in Animal Studies and Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing to be offered for the first time.

    “Students can enrol in animal studies programs this year and the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing will be available in 2021.”

    The new Centre is part of a $7 million redevelopment of the Toowoomba campus, which included a major upgrade to the nursing, healthcare and general training facilities in B Block.

    The Toowoomba campus is the main training and administrative centre for the Darling Downs and plays an important role in supporting a diversifying and growing economy.

    Young Queenslanders are encouraged to take up one of over 170 qualifications on offer through the Palaszczuk government’s free tafe and free apprenticeships for under 21s initiatives. There are over 30 free qualifications on offer at the Toowoomba campus including eight in the rural and agriculture industries.

    The Palaszczuk Government is currently supporting more than 750 young people in Toowoomba through these free training programs.

    For further information on the Queensland Government’s support for vocational education and training visitwww.desbt.qld.gov.au or call 1300 369 935 or the free apprenticeships hotline 1800 210 210. For TAFE Queensland enrolments contact 1300 308 233 or visit www.tafeqld.edu.au.

     

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    Media Contact:          Inga Williams              0439 949 719