Queensland production horticulture workforce development plan

Recognising the valuable role that the Queensland production horticulture industry plays in both the local and national economy the state's peak production horticulture industry body, Growcom Australia, with funding support from the Queensland Government, has developed the Queensland Production Horticulture Workforce Development Plan in consultation with industry. The Plan aims to assist industry, government and the education and training sector to focus on improvements that will support the production horticulture sector meet present and future workforce development challenges and, consequently, help maximise opportunities to be profitable and competitive.

The Queensland production horticulture sector contributes over $2.4 billion per annum to the state's economy, and supplies over 30 per cent of Australia's fruit and vegetable produce. Add the value of the entire supply chain and the contribution figure is exponentially higher. According to figures recently released by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, production horticulture is Queensland's second biggest agricultural industry and is worth more than twice the value of sugar, almost twice the value of all grains and almost four times the value of cotton. For this reason it is critical that the state remains highly competitive in both domestic and international markets.

This document builds on Growcom's 2008 Workforce Development Plan and has involved industry consultation with peak and regional bodies, commodity representatives, individual producers, government agencies and registered training organisations. It outlines the production horticulture's key barriers to attraction, retention and upskilling and provides recommendations to address them. The methodology adopted was not simply to focus on the industry's immediate workforce development needs but also to address industry trends and likely needs over the next three years.