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Australian experts to help develop critical skills courses in India

The University of Adelaide has received $1.8 million in funding from the Federal Government to lead a consortium of experienced partners in strengthening India's agriculture sector.

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Farmer Producer Organisation Saubij Mitra in West Bengal uses new agricultural techniques and marketing arrangements to empower local communities. Twenty women’s self-help groups that belong to Saubij Mitra are growing mushrooms as an additional source of income. Now the organisation will have Australian experts’ support to enhance their work’s impact. The experts will help developing critical skills course to help such workers.

The University of Adelaide has received $1.8 million in funding from the Federal Government to lead a consortium of experienced partners in strengthening India’s agriculture sector. The project aims to identify emerging jobs and develop critical skills and advanced practices to meet India’s agricultural skills needs.

The consortium includes Skills Impact, Central Queensland University, the National Skills Foundation of India, and the Agricultural Skills Council of India. The University of Adelaide will research, design, and deliver pilot training products in partnership with stakeholders from the Australian international education sector and Australian and Indian agriculture sectors.

The consortium includes Skills Impact, Central Queensland University, the National Skills Foundation of India, and the Agricultural Skills Council of India.
The consortium includes Skills Impact, Central Queensland University, the National Skills Foundation of India, and the Agricultural Skills Council of India.

Dr Tamara Jackson, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, is the lead researcher on the project. She believes it is a great opportunity to help build the capability of India’s agriculture workforce and make valuable connections between the sectors in the two countries.

“The project scoping study will identify future job roles and emerging skills needs in the agriculture sector. The final practices selected will be those that have the potential to create transformational change in the system and that align with Australia’s area of expertise,” Dr Jackson told Indian Link in an interview.

The project will explore partnerships between industry and education providers of both countries through the co-development of occupational standards for critical and emerging job roles across India’s key agriculture sub-sectors. Specific focus areas will be determined based on a comprehensive scoping study across agricultural production and other related sectors.

Dr Jackson says the scoping study is based on consultation with different parts of the agriculture sector and using previous consultation efforts by our Indian partners.

“The scoping study is designed to identify challenges to the agricultural system in India and identify future job roles and the associated skills required for these jobs,” said Dr Tamara Jackson.

The project will run from 2023 to 2024 and is an opportunity to build connections between India and Australia’s agriculture and education sectors through training based on Australia’s quality, regulated skills qualifications. Ultimately, the benefits will flow to farmers and other parts of the agricultural value chain.

Pilot training products will be co-designed by Indian and Australian Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), who will work together to ensure that the products are contextualised to the Indian context but adhere to Australian quality standards, including technical content and process of delivery. In addition, a series of Training-of-Trainer workshops will be undertaken to ensure Indian trainers are delivering the training courses to Australian standards.

Experts believe this project is essential because the agriculture sector is vital to India’s economy. With over 60% of the population depending on agriculture for their livelihoods, improving the sector’s productivity and sustainability is crucial to the country’s economic growth and development. These advanced critical skills courses are expected to help.

By identifying emerging jobs and developing advanced practices, this project aims to enhance the skills and capabilities of India’s agriculture workforce. This will have an immediate impact on the participants, who will gain new skills and knowledge to support the transformation of India’s agriculture sector.

“The project will deliver Australian quality training to members of India’s agricultural sector. This will have an immediate benefit on the participants by enhancing their skills to help support the transformation of India’s agricultural system. Importantly, this project will have long-term, sustainable impacts by targeting courses that will be incorporated into the Agricultural Skills Council of India’s formal delivery mechanisms and have the potential to be delivered in other ongoing projects and programs,” said Dr Tamara Jackson.

This project is expected to have long-term, sustainable impacts by targeting critical skills courses that will be incorporated into the Agricultural Skills Council of India’s formal delivery mechanisms. In addition, these courses can potentially be delivered in other ongoing projects and programs, further strengthening India’s agriculture sector.

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