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Grain Producers Australia (GPA) is reminding Victorian growers and farm businesses that they can still register for free online training which can help overcome skilled labour shortages at harvest.

Grain Producers Australia Chair and Victorian farmer, Andrew Weidemann, said GPA Training has been purposefully designed and delivered by the grains industry, to meet the industry’s needs.

“Farm workers and farm businesses located in Victoria are still able to register for GPA Training and receive a free 12-month Silver Membership,” he said.

“This will provide them with easy access to free online learning that’s been specifically designed by people who understand the grains industry and work in it.

“This includes training to ensure new workers are harvest ready which is especially critical right now, given the skilled worker shortage our industry is facing, not just in Victoria, heading into harvest.

“Registering today will provide a one-year Silver Membership for GPA Training from the date of registering and given the numbers are limited it’s first in, first served.”

GPA Training also includes; training courses to improve safety practices for grain site deliveries; a comprehensive farm safety induction course; COVID-19 training; and farm manager training.

The GPA Training program was boosted by the Victorian Government with funding announced last year by Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes, from the Agriculture Workforce Plan.

The Plan was a $50 million component of the Working for Victoria initiative implemented in response to COVID-19 and the impact of travel restrictions on seasonal workers. It was designed to ensure the farm sector can access the workforce it needs to continue operating and maintain production capacity.

As part of this work, GPA Training can help facilitate the skills and safety training needed to provide workers that are still required for the grains industry, in order to complete this season’s harvest.

Australian Custom Harvesters President, Rod Gribble, said with ongoing travel restrictions impacting labour supply, GPA Training is an example of the grains industry being proactive to help develop the skilled workforce needed, in order to harvest and deliver this season’s crop.

“With winter crop production in Victoria expected to reach 6.9 million tonnes, we’ll need a reliable supply of workers to do the job properly and ensure we maximise the crop’s potential,” he said.

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