As our industry grows into the future, we need to ensure that we have initiatives and programs that develop the next generation of leaders in the vegetable sector, as well as in Australian horticulture more broadly.

A cross-horticulture project funded by the Leadership Fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, is helping to attract new entrants into Australian horticulture by offering paid internships to final-year university students.

With modern horticulture businesses needing a broad range of skilled employees, from information technology exports to quality assurance specialists, the program is looking to attract students from any relevant discipline. The first year of the program has already advertised internships focused on these and other areas like engineering, sales and supply chain management.

In the first phase of the program, students complete an internship with an industry partner during the final year of their studies as part of their degree and receive a minimum of $8,000 in wages or scholarship for their work.

In the second phase, students commence a 12-month graduate position, including a leadership program run by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Hort Innovation and the vegetable levy support the host organisation and contribute to pay the costs of the internship and the graduate position, including up to $22,000 of graduate salary costs, making this a great opportunity for businesses to attract skilled employees.

If you’re interested in being part of this program, check out the GradLink website.

You can also learn more about this project in this flyer produced by Rimfire Resources.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 26 June 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!