This project researched skill shortages in the red meat and wool industries as that posed one of the greatest threat to the future viability of farming enterprises.
It aimed to identify the causes of the skills shortages in the red meat and wool sectors and the reasons for the lack of interest in young people pursuing a career in agriculture, and to develop strategies to address this shortage in order to ensure the sustainability of rural and regional communities in the Western Victoria region.
The research supported the proposition that there is a direct linkage between education and young people being encouraged to undertake or continue a career in agriculture. The key findings concluded that the majority of participating students enrolled in vocational agricultural courses, their parents, and students from a non-agricultural background perceived agriculture as a well-paid industry, suited to people with high skill levels and providing good career pathways. Furthermore, three factors were identified as having a stronger and a weaker impact on students' decisions to undertake an agricultural career respectively.
The Fellowship was awarded to Bill Hamill, Chief Executive Officer of Rural Industries Skill Training (RIST) Inc to fund this project. This research became the subject of Bill's Master of Education thesis.