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PIEFA and Career Harvest form alliance

National education alliance to boost career opportunities in food and fibre.

The Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) and Career Harvest have announced a national alliance to link the school education needs of primary industries with the promotion of careers in those industries nationally.

Career Harvest and PIEFA will seek joint funding from the industry to ensure a consolidated approach to engaging students, teachers and the broader community about the role and importance of primary industry in the Australian economy, and the career opportunities available. Career Harvest Chairman, David Anthony said the alliance brings together two professional Boards with vast experience and excellent track records to deliver a platform that avoids duplication for sponsors and supporters.

“Both organisations are doing terrific work and this alignment will ensure investors receive extended coverage across a broader range of services through one single investment,” he said. PIEFA Chairman, Cameron Archer added that the collaboration reduces the fragmentation of effort and funding, and will make it easier for supporters of both organisations to commit to industry sector support for education and career development.

The collaboration will deliver a range of services including, but not limited to:

– Development of educational resources linked directly to the national curriculum
– Deposit of the teaching and learning resources in the national education resource base “Scootle” and on the PIEF website
– Professional development of teachers on the use of the developed resources
– Promotion through the national network of educators
– Involvement with the national lighthouse schools program in agriculture
– Greater exposure of the industry in national classrooms
– Exposure in presentations to national and other conferences and meetings
– Increased exposure to careers advisors in the schools
– Career promotion for the industry at graduate level along the supply chain through the Career Harvest website
– Engagement with prospective students and graduates through their networks in social media
– Scholarship and internship promotion and advertising

Australian Council of Deans Secretary and Career Harvest Board Member Jim Pratley said for the last three 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 at least a 20% increase with some institutions recording up to a 50% increase,” added Professor Pratley.

In March, the University of Adelaide reported the best agriculture enrolment figures for a decade, with enrolments currently sitting at 77 students, up from 62 last year. University of Sydney intake for agricultural science had increased six-fold since the end of the drought in 2007. This year there are 130 students enrolled in the three-year agricultural science degree, up from just 20 in 2007.

The PIEFA and Career Harvest alliance follows a series of new commercial partnerships secured by Career Harvest, which now has over 54 industry supporters, including the most recent addition of AgriFood Skills Australia. AgriFood Skills Australia is one of 11 independent, not-for-profit Industry Skills Councils established by the Australian Government. Led by industry and funded by government, AgriFood develops and implements Training Packages for five main sectors including rural and related industries, food pharmaceutical and beverages, meat, racing and seafood, industries which together generate more than $200 billion for the Australian economy annually.