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Free Drone Training for NSW Farmers

Farmers across NSW are benefiting from free drone training, helping them apply new technologies to make life on the land more productive and prosperous. The Minister for Skills Training stated that the in-demand training is helping primary producers reap the benefits of new and emerging technologies.

The Minister noted that the practical, hands-on training explores the application of drones to a range of agricultural pursuits, so every farmer who participates will know how a drone can benefit their farm planning and day-to-day practices. He noted that the course will give farmers the confidence and technical skills to operate a drone safely and legally, and ultimately, improve how they conduct business.

More than 580 people have taken up AU$ 878,000 worth of free training, which comprises an online training session followed by a one-day on-farm workshop. New course dates have been released, with farmers encouraged to enrol in upcoming courses at Hillston, Balranald, Dareton, Warialda, Gunnedah, Scone and Coolah.

The Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW said the free courses are being funded by the NSW Government under its AgSkilled 2.0 programme. He noted that technology continues to revolutionise how farmers operate, and courses like this one are an opportunity for people to upskill using the latest technological advancements.

The agriculture sector is stronger than ever, despite a challenging few years of fires, floods and drought. He noted that it is important that the Government continues rolling out programmes so that local farmers can strengthen and grow their operations.

About the AgSkilled 2.0 programme

AgSkilled 2.0 is an AU$ 15 million investment over 3 years in agricultural workforce development by the NSW Government to 30 June 2023. AgSkilled helps current and future agriculture workers with career entry pathways and employment outcomes as well as production, business, technology and safety skills.

The programme supports the NSW industry by:

  • helping primary producers develop and retain a productive workforce
  • boosting the plant-growing agricultural industry in NSW
  • increasing farm efficiency, productivity and profitability
  • increasing the use of new technology and sustainable practices.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in the plant-growing agricultural industry sector. An applicant could be a primary producer, farm employee, or industry professional (e.g., agronomist). Or someone seeking employment in the sector, including job seekers and school leavers.

Training topics include:

  • Farm production
  • Precision agriculture
  • Soils and nutrition
  • Emerging technologies
  • Agricultural processing (on-farm)
  • Retailing (on-farm)
  • Farm machinery operation and maintenance
  • Licensing
  • Farm business management
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Leadership

Over its three (3) year programme life to 30 June 2023, AgSkilled 2.0 aims to attract, develop and retain a productive agricultural workforce; develop industry capacity to adopt new technologies and sustainable farming practices; support career progression, entry pathways and employment outcomes; and leverage research and development to ensure training is relevant, current and meets industry needs.

AgSkilled 2.0 is being delivered by Training Services NSW (TSNSW) in partnership with industry associations representing the identified industry sectors, and also in consultation with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Skills Impact Industry Training Advisory Body (ITAB). The training comprises industry identified, tailored courses, delivered across four (4) key training pillars: Production, Technology, Business and Safety.

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