AgForce is stepping up its push to have the State Government reverse its planned cuts to Ag education in Queensland schools with a call today for the government to stop stalling.
CEO Michael Guerin says the Government’s decision to cut the funding needs to be reversed now and not delayed because of a proposed ‘skill summit’.
He says details around the government’s Skills Summit have been scant.
“The Palaszczuk Government is cutting funding to the School to Industry Partnership Program, a program that taught primary school students where their food came from and highlighted to high school students the diverse range of career opportunities in agriculture.”
“This is a unique, hands-on program that works across Queensland to connect school students of all ages with agriculture and show them the important role it plays in their lives.”
“The program has always received widespread support and praise from industry, teachers and students for the outcomes it achieves, and with an increase in State Government funding as we requested could reach many more than the 10,000 students already reached every year.”
The Premier has this week said Queensland’s agricultural education needs will be considered as part of the skill summit and she’s encouraging AgForce to be involved.
Mr Guerin says all AgForce knows about the summit comes from “one line in her recent ‘State of the State’ speech.”
“AgForce hasn’t been advised or consulted about a skills summit and we understand the Queensland Farmers’ Federation hasn’t been either.”
“You don’t need a summit to know that the Queensland Government needs to reverse its funding cuts for the School to Industry Partnership Program. The decision to reinstate funding could and should be made immediately.”
Industry, teachers and schools are all calling on the Queensland Government to maintain funding for the School to Industry Partnership Program.
“That’s why our message to the State Government is don’t delay, reinstate this funding today.”
AgForce has supported and managed the School to Industry Partnership Program since it began in 2004 with 100% of the $181,000 in funding going towards whole-of-agriculture education activities and services.