The Australian Council of Deans (ACDA) has announced that Food & Agribusiness Solutions (FAS) have acquired the management rights for the highly successful food and fibre industry career pathway program and online portal Career Harvest.
Career Harvest was established in 2012 following the formation of a Board consisting of representatives of the ACDA and industry partners Redhanded Communications Group and Rimfire Resources.
FAS, formally Agrifood Skills Australia, are an independent not-for-profit service provider with a dedicated focus on skills, education, careers and workforce development.
In a joint announcement this week with Career Harvest, Food and Agribusiness Solutions CEO Anwen Lovett said that FAS were genuinely excited about taking on the operations management of Career Harvest.
“We believe Career Harvest has a unique and valued brand and there is strong complementarity between the promotional activities we are undertaking as we rollout the services of Food and Agribusiness Solutions nationwide and the desire to raise the profile of Career Harvest.
“We have high level expertise in the management, administration and governance of projects and programs, along with specific expertise in industry engagement, VET sector policy and engagement, resource development and teacher professional development,” concluded Ms Lovett.
Career Harvest Chairman David Anthony said the carefully crafted deal would see a smooth transition of management, and current supporters should feel confident that FAS will maintain a high degree of exposure and influence for the program and digital platform.
“Food and Agribusiness Solutions is highly motivated to engage in extensive industry networking leading to strong promotional opportunities for Career Harvest,” he added.
In just six years, Career Harvest have played a key role in the turning around actual university enrolment numbers in agricultural related degrees. It has also built highly engaging industry partnerships with some 50+ related organisations. This has been achieved through the establishment and optimisation of the industry leading online career pathways portal careerharvest.com.au.
Australian Council of Deans Secretary and Career Harvest Board Member Jim Pratley said for the last four years, enrolment figures have shown significant improvement across a number of Universities.
“In 2013 there was a 15% increase; in 2014 another 15% increase and 2015 there was overall a 20% increase.” said Professor Pratley.
“In 2016 there were record enrolments in some universities, including Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne” said Professor Pratley, “and new courses have commenced at Central Queensland University and at Murdoch University this year,” he concluded.
Ms Lovett added that attraction and retention of talent to our sector is a continuing challenge as we face stiff competition from other sectors in the economy for today’s and the next generation workforce.
“If people are to seriously consider a future working in our industries, we must provide mechanisms and pathways which promote a positive future for our industries and make information on the diverse career options accessible. Currently there are 5 to 6 jobs for every graduate in agriculture”.
“Furthermore, those influencing and advising people about their career choices must be provided with resources that give them confidence about the career opportunities available to them. This is the crucial role we see Career Harvest as fulfilling,” she concluded.