AgForce is joining forces with leading training firm Response in a bid to bridge the education gap created by the closure of Queensland’s agricultural colleges. It was a sad day for agriculture when the State Government turned its back on the last of its five teaching colleges (Emerald and Longreach) in 2019 – leaving the future of farming hanging in the balance. Now AgForce and Queensland firm Response have revealed plans to ensure the next generation of agriculture workers receive the training they need to continue the success of the industry.

Together, they will design, build, and deliver a modern approach to training using innovations such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive 360 experiences, as well as traditional workplace training using modern technology and tools.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said while the move is subject to regulatory and board approvals, it is a step in the right direction in ensuring the future of the agriculture industry. “Agriculture is an essential industry and providing industry-relevant training is vital to ensuring the current and future workforce is ‘job ready’ with the skills needed,” he said.

“AgForce surveys have unearthed a huge demand for broadacre agricultural training. “Corporate employers alone take on 160 new employees every year.” They desperately want them trained up in workplace health and safety, basic property operations, basic livestock management, and basic horsemanship skills, and it costs them a lot of money, time, and effort to do that training themselves.

“By teaming up with Response, we can work toward a transformative change in pathways and education for our industry in Queensland.” Response has been operating more than 30 years and owns and operates two Registered Training Organisations.

It the largest provider of technical training to the beef processing industry in Australia, and provides leadership and management training nationally and internationally. The company currently runs the Graduate Certificate in Agribusiness on behalf of the Australian Meat Processor Corporation, and works closely with associations such as the Australian Meat Industry Council and the Meat Industry Training Advisory Council. Paul Eldridge, Director of Strategy with Response Group International, said he was looking forward to the collaboration with AgForce. “AgForce has a long and proud history of representing Queensland’s rural producers and we are excited about working in partnership with them to design and deliver training courses that meet the needs of current and next generation farmers,” he said. “Response has an enviable reputation for working collaboratively with partners to deliver innovative and practical solutions that benefit industry – it is what we do best.” “Our trainers come from industry and it is our intention from the outset to involve industry deeply in this partnership to ensure that what is built and delivered is what industry wants and needs.”

Paul Eldridge

Paul Eldridge

Paul’s key strength is his ability to think strategically, map out future states and design business models that cleverly leverage technology to build growth in a sustainable and profitable way. As the Response Director of Strategy and Business Development, Paul is responsible for helping to shape the future direction of the business.

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