The Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN) supports the Government’s objective to drive growth in the agriculture industry by providing agribusiness with a broad range of advice and guidance on workforce attraction, recruitment and development.

As an Agriculture Workforce Officer, I help connect growers across southern Queensland with employment and skilling service providers that meet their needs. This has included the provision of Workplace Essentials workshops over the past three years to help farm business owners gain a clearer understanding of how they can improve workplace safety and where there might be gaps in their policies and practices.

In December 2018, we held our final Workplace Essentials workshop with funding from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). Once again, participants found the workshop to be very helpful with topics tailored to meet current industry issues.

Employment Relations Consultant, Donna Mogg presented topics on risk management, the Horticulture Code of Conduct, induction, performance management, accessorial liability and updates to the Horticulture Award, while Workplace Health and Safety Principal Inspector, Jodie Lucas addressed topics relating to workplace safety.

Farmer, Mario Cocco and his son Domenic, shared their personal story about quad bike safety which was a moving presentation on a life-threatening accident.

Additionally, Kylie Maras and Natalie Wakefield of WorkCover Queensland spoke about common workplace injuries and current activities relating to labour hire, and Growcom Workplace Relations Advisor, Rebecca Myers also spoke about Growcom services and the Fair Farms Initiative.

At the conclusion of the workshop, we asked participants which topics they wanted to know more about. With this information, we highlighted key information needs within the industry.

These include the need for:

  •  Further assistance in business management.
  • Supply chain management.
  • Effective management in response to current employment relations and workplace health and safety legislation.
  • Leadership and supervisor training.
  • Contract and position description writing.
  • Induction processes.
  • Understanding visas.

To effectively link you to further information, QAWN would like to hear more about what services and information you  need. Please contact me on kgeorge@growcom.com.au with your requirements.

 

The Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network is an industry-led rural jobs initiative funded by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).