Farmers of the future showcase their skills
STUDENTS from as far west as Tamworth descended on Lismore to showcase their farming skills as part of World Skills International northern region competition on Tuesday.
Year 10, 11 and 12 students from Macintyre Highschool (Inverell), Armidale Highschool, Farrah (Tamworth), PEEL Technology High (Tamworth), Kyogle Highschool, St Pauls (Kempsey), and Richmond River High School, took part in agricultural challenges - Livestock Handling, Fencing and Tractor Operations at Woodlawn College to compete for a place in the national final to be held in Sydney in June 2018.
The skills-based competitions operate every two years at regional, national and international levels, and are aligned to National Training Packages, Apprenticeships Australia and Jobs Australia schemes.
The National Championship is recognised as Australia's biggest vocational education and excellence competition.
Senior pathways advisor for public schools, Ivan Gant, said from this section of the World Skills competition they were looking for the best three kids across the areas to go on to the national level.
"Judges work together on each section - basically the kids are being marked on a national grid,” Mr Gant said.
"The best three kids from here will go to nationals and the same is occurring right across Australia.”
"The competition also includes sections from entertainment, hospitality, metals and engineering and IT.”
Year 12 St Pauls Kempsey student, Harry Mainey, grew up on properties and hopes to study agricultural science in the future.
"I thought (the competition) was a good opportunity to improve my skills in all areas, and is good for future reference so I'm competent in all areas,” he said.
"Making it to nationals would be quite the achievement, especially kids from an area that's not necessarily recognised for a massive agricultural area.
"At the end of the day your doing the stuff to improve yourself and show that you have different abilities on offer.”
Competition convenor, Mick Melino, said the activities chosen were core skills needed for the agricultural industry, especially the beef industry.
"I think it's really good for all students to see that there are practical students needed for jobs as there is a shortage of those skills in the agricultural industry.
"If you send someone out to work if you're managing you need to know what's an acceptable standard and how long it should take to do something - this is what this is all about.”