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New Victorian career and training info portal launched: Victorian Skills Gateway

Thursday, December 6th, 2012


Victorian Skills Gateway

From the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Hon Peter Hall, media release 2 December 2012:

Students can now match their career dreams to the right training thanks to a new website launched today.

Skills Minister Peter Hall said the Victorian Skills Gateway took the hassle out of searching for the right course.

Gone are the days of hours spent searching through the websites of individual training providers,” Mr Hall said.

This makes it easy. Select a career, click the mouse, and all training options available in Victoria for that job are laid out.

“Whether it’s school leavers, or those looking for a job change, this website will prove to be a useful tool.

Victorians looking for work can see which skills are most in demand, maximising their chance of employment,” Mr Hall said
“You can scroll through the list, read about job prospects, look at case studies and then get information on the courses needed.

See full media release here

Invitation – How to reduce energy costs project presentations 12 Nov RMIT Bundoora

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Hydrogen Truck-16-Edit-WEB smYou are invited to a morning of presentations on energy reduction projects. Don’t miss this – one of the best partnerships of Industry and Education in Victoria!

8.30am – 12 noon, Monday, 12 November 2012
Building 224, RMIT University West Campus (off Plenty Rd) Bundoora

Featuring company case studies from: Armstrong World Industries, BTI Logistics, Capral, Continental Automotive, Colonial First State, Food Plastics, Nestle, Melbourne Water, Olex, PWB Anchor, William Adams

RSVP to Deb Redmond, NORTH Link, by 9th November 2012 by email to

Telephone 03 9479 3339 for further information.

These RMIT University final-year Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering (Sustainable Energy) students will present energy and emission reduction case studies undertaken this year with sixteen companies. These case studies will provide your organisation with a great opportunity to obtain and discuss new ideas on energy cost cutting and greenhouse gas abatement in the coming emissions trading era.

Consumer survey shows popularity of local produce

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Australia on globe

From the Australian Food News website, 19 Sept 2012:

A recent Roy Morgan survey commissioned by the Australian Made Campaign has shown that Australians still prefer to purchase local produce, with 9 in 10 people stating they purchase Australian made or grown food over cheaper imports.

The online survey of 1200 adults showed that although 90 percent of people prefer Australian produce, not all of them were clear on the term ‘Australian Made.’

Only 1 in 3 people surveyed knew that Australian Made meant that the product had been made here and more than 50 percent of the cost of making the product occurred here. Moreover, 4 in 10 people indicated that they had difficulty identifying if a product was Australian Made.

Australian Made Campaign Chief, Ian Harrison said that Australian’s continued to purchase local produce due to confidence in safety and quality.

Other Australian industries such as furniture, clothing and household appliances have been forced out of the market by cheaper international imports, with less than 50 percent of those surveyed indicating they would opt for the more expensive, Australian Made goods.

See whole story here.

Senate Committee Report on Food Processing Out

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Australia on globe

16 August 2012

35 Recommendations and 258 Pages….. covering the labour market; the taxation and regulatory environment; the retail environment; food labelling; biosecurity and food safety; innovation and research; exports and the committee’s conclusion.

Industry visits included:
• Campbell Arnott’s factory, near Shepparton, Victoria;
• SPC Ardmona factory, Shepparton, Victoria;
• Simplot factories, Quoiba and Ulverstone, Tasmania;
• Field Fresh, Forth, Tasmania;
• Vili’s Bakery, Adelaide;
• Haigh’s Chocolates, Adelaide;
• Standom Smallgoods, Adelaide, South Australia;
• Gawler River Cattle Company, Adelaide South Australia;
• Cooper’s Brewery, Adelaide, South Australia;
• Fremantle Octopus Company, Western Australia;
• Geraldton Fishermen’s Co‐operative, Western Australia;
• Kailis Bros, Canning Vale, Western Australia;
• Anchor Foods, Fremantle, Western Australia;
• Canon Foods, Canning Vale, Western Australia; and
• Mrs Mac’s, Morley, Western Australia.

Excerpts below:

1.10 The economic significance of Australia’s broader food industry was emphasised by submitters to the inquiry. Positioning the food manufacturing sector within Australia’s other manufacturing industries, the Australian Food and Grocery Council highlighted the sector’s scale:

Representing 28 per cent of total manufacturing turnover, the sector is comparable in size to the Australian mining sector and is more than four times larger than the automotive sector… The growing and sustainable industry is made up of 38,000 businesses…2

1.11 Similarly, the Australian Made Australian Grown Campaign highlighted the sector’s contribution to job growth:

The manufacturing sector is fundamentally important to the Australian economy, especially in terms of jobs, skills and training opportunities, exports and innovation. It is also critical to the fabric of Australian society because of the multiplier effect of the opportunities it creates and its strategic importance to Australia’s economic and national security. The food processing sector is a major part of that, with particular importance as a regional employer and for food security reasons.3

See the full Report on the Parliament website here

AgriFood 2012 National Conference registrations are now open

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

agrifood logo

Hosted by AgriFood Skills Australia, this year’s conference will be on held on Thursday 20 September 2012 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Sydney. The conference dinner will be held the preceding evening Wednesday 19 September at the conference venue.

Themed Disruption or evolution the program will feature high-profile speakers and panellists discussing industry issues around structural change currently taking place in the agrifood industry.

Key note speakers and panellists include The Hon Tim Fischer AC, Barry Irvin, CEO Bega Cheese Ltd, and Phillip Adams. Additional speakers will be confirmed in the near future. Additions to the conference program will be published here.

Registrations are now open through a secure online site, where payment can be made securely by credit card. Click here to register.

tim fischer Conference registrations will close 5:00 PM Friday 14 September 2012.
philip adams

Give your feedback to National Food Plan

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

From the Australian Food News website, 17 July,

The Australian Government today released its National Food Plan green paper.  The aim is to develop Australia’s first national food plan to integrate all aspects of Government food policy and communication of its strategic direction.

Australia’s Agriculture Minister Senator Joe Ludwig said he expected to receive feedback from around Australia including groups such as farmers, consumers and supermarket groups.  “It’s quite diverse and that’s why I wanted to bring together the food plan into a green paper to have that conversation,” he said.

The green paper acknowledges the relationship between supermarkets and suppliers raises concerns for stakeholders.  “Supermarkets are where most Australians buy their food and we need to ensure a fair trading environment for suppliers while keeping prices low for families,” Senator Ludwig said.

See whole article here and link to Paper and Feedback information.

Australian food surges to boost record $313 bil exports

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Australia on globeFrom the Australian Food News website, 16 July 2012,

Australia’s total goods and services exports soared 10.2% in 2011 to AU$313.3 billion – the first time exports have reached over AU$300 billion during any 12 month period, according to ‘Composition of Trade, Australia 2011‘ statistics, released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently.

The report shows that wheat, beef, other meats, and alcohol were in the top 25 export categories. Wheat, at number  8, had rose by 16.9%  during the five-year trend. Beef, at number 11, had lost 1.1% of its growth during this same five-year period. Meats export, at number 22, rose by 2.8% in the five-year period. Exports of Alcoholic beverages, however, had declined 7.5%  in the same five years.

In 2011, after the major categories of wheat, beef, other meats, and alcohol, barley was the next most valuable food export from Australia, earning AU $1,378 million. Milk, cream, whey and yoghurt, was valued at AU$1,210.4 million, while vegetable exports earned  AU$958.5 million, and cheese and curds  AU$754.2 million.

Read the whole story here.

2012 ‘Environmental Scan’ launched by AgriFood Skills Australia

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

agrifood logoAgriFood Skills Australia launched the 2012 Environmental Scan Disruption or evolution on Tuesday 19 June at The Lobby Restaurant, Canberra.

The fifth Environmental Scan highlights the vital importance of industry and government coordination and leadership to tackle the challenges of workforce and skills shortages in the agrifood industry and regional Australia.

Consultation for the 2012 Environmental Scan highlighted industry’s four priority skills and workforce development challenges, which have taken on a new sense of urgency (see Fig 6, p. 22 of Scan):

  • Attraction of new workers
  • Adoption of higher skill levels across the workforce
  • Diffusion of new research findings, innovative practice and technology
  • Retention and skills utilisation of existing workers

To download a copy of the 2012 Environmental Scan please click here.

2012 AgriFood Skills International Fellowship applications now open – close 6 August

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

agrifood logothat's amore cheese

AgriFood Skills Australia and International Specialised Skills Institute Inc. are offering two international Fellowships of $10,000 each.

These fellowships aim to promote the acquisition of higher-level skills and an appreciation of international best practice in the agrifood industry.

Two Fellowships are available, with applications open to all people Australia-wide in the sectors covered by AgriFood. Successful applicants will be announced on Wednesday 19 September at the AgriFood Skills Australia National Conference.

Applications close 6 August.

Click here for details. Their website also has information on previous winners.

Have your say – review of Standards for Regulation of VET – due 13 July 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012


From the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) website, 8 June:

On the 8th of June 2012 the Nationals Skills Standards Council (NSSC) commenced the review of the standards for the regulation of VET.

* The current standards for the regulation of VET have served their purpose in supporting the growth of a dynamic and diverse VET sector that has responded to industry needs for nationally recognised training and qualifications, and has provided access and opportunities to individual learners.

*The standards for the regulation of VET and the associated regulatory approach need to continue to evolve to ensure that current and future RTOs continue to deliver high quality training and assessment services thus ensuring that the reputation of the sector is maintained and that employers and industry continue to value the VET qualifications held by individual students and employees.

* While the NSSC acknowledges that the standards for the regulation of VET, in particular those for RTOs, have been amended a number of times over the past 5-10 years, it is considered timely that a broad ranging review occur, that considers the regulatory standards as a whole.

* The review is broad ranging and encompasses standards for Registered Training Organisations, Data, an VET Regulators. It will consider not just the content of the standards in isolation but importantly also how they are applied, implemented and interpreted in practice

Face to face consultations are being held with federal and state/territory governments, VET regulators, Industry Skill Councils, Peak Bodies and other stakeholders in June and July.

Click here to see full NSSC Review webpage.

AgriFood Skills Australia is making a submission and welcomes input from any industry and training stakeholders. There is a Feedback Form to assist. See contact below to request this.

In order to allow sufficient time to review and consolidate input, please provide your comments to Jeannie Cotterell by COB Friday 6 July 2012.

Jeannie Cotterell
General Manager, Product Development and Implementation

Phone: 02 6163 7235
Mobile: 0459 981 293


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