Attracting and retaining staff is a key issue for Australian agriculture, and the feedlot sector is no exception.
The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association is about to tackle this head on with the ‘Australian Feedlot Sector Career Development and Training Strategy and Implementation Plan’.
ALFA’s vision in this space is to have a feedlot industry that attracts, retains and grows a professional and skilled workforce through the provision of a career development pathway and delivery of associated training, professional development and support networks.
The purpose of the strategy is to deliver on this vision. When completed the Australian feedlot sector, its businesses and current and prospective employees will have access to a career development pathway and suite of training options and tools designed to attract, retain and grow the capacity of the feedlot work force.
The strategy was borne out of research conducted in 2016-17 into the training needs of the feedlot industry.
Undertaken by well-respected meat industry training organisation, MINTRAC, this work outlined several ways the feedlot sector could be more strategic in investing into and building industry capability.
It followed wide consultation with individual companies and workshops with interested stakeholders.
ALFA’s Feedlot Management Committee considered the recommendations from this work and identified the need to develop a pathway for the attainment of skills through training, professional development and support.
This was also in response to the observation that there is currently general variability in the provision of these resources and in some instances gaps in training and professional development opportunities for feedlot employees.
The strategy identifies key employment ‘groupings’ in the feedlot environment including the positions of – General Hand, Leading Hand, Supervisor and Manager/Feedlot Professional – and then outlines a training pathway and options for each of these.
The pathway has been designed to identify what training and training tools are needed and if this training is:
- Certified Core Skills Training – Such as formal Certificate III or certified Animal Welfare officer training,
- Non-Certified Core Skills Training – Such as IT training, management training and ALFA’s Milling and Nutrition workshops for example,
- Personal and Professional Development – Such as Margin and People Management (MPM), TRAIL and Australian Rural Leadership,
- Supportive Frameworks – Such as ALFA Alumni and Key Industry Groups Focusing on Lot Feeding for example,
- Recognition of Excellence – Such as ALFA’s young lot feeder Award and other awards and scholarships.