Future-proofing the Aquaculture Industry
With 1430-2340 new employees required in the next 10 years, the aquaculture industry has an increasing need for staff at various levels of vocational skill and education, often with specific combinations of both. CQU is partnering on a project led by James Cook University to directly addresses recommendations of the North Australian aquaculture industry situational analysis, to ‘build skills to meet industry growth needs’, and indirectly the first recommendation ‘bolstering biosecurity’.
The project encompasses engagement with education and training providers, attracting staff to aquaculture from high school level, communicating career pathways, improved training delivery models, and upskilling current workers (in the priority area of biosecurity awareness and preparedness). The immediate and short-term benefits of the project will be increased biosecurity awareness and response to disease, more refined training and education approaches for aquaculture, and increased awareness of career prospects to attract new people to the sector. In turn, this will put mechanisms in place to critically improve the chance of achieving the long-term outcome of a future-ready workforce that meets industry demand.
The immediate and short-term benefits of the project will be increased biosecurity awareness and disease responsiveness, more refined training and education approaches for aquaculture and increased awareness of career prospects to attract new people to the sector. In turn, this will put mechanisms in place to critically improve the chance of achieving the long-term outcome of a future-ready workforce that meets industry demand.
The project will include comprehensive communication with stakeholders and the timely sharing of all outputs. Project participants and stakeholders will directly use the outputs of the research to inform cost-effective training and education approaches, recruit new students into aquaculture career pathways and implement training on-farm to enhance productivity and GDP.
The project is expected to provide value to the Northern Australian aquaculture industry across several areas:
- Provide educational providers with documentation of the skills sets required of their graduates in order to shape course outcomes
- Provide data on the capacity requirements of education providers into the future to guide the course size needed to meet the expansion ambitions of the industry
- Provide evidence and pathways to meaningful careers for students entering the latter stages of secondary education
- All of the above result in workforce education that more closely matches industry demand for qualified personnel
- The outputs of the project are further expected to form the basis of strategic planning processes for education providers since it will provide evidence for future need and directions for growth
Associate Professor Andrew Irving - Project Lead
Andrew Irving joined CQUniversity in 2013 as a senior lecturer specialising in marine and environmental ecology, evolution, experimental design, and statistical analysis.
At CQUniversity we are committed to embedding sustainable practice in our operations, interactions and relationships, underpinned by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability sits as one of our strategic pillars within our Strategic Plan 2019-2023.
This project aligns to the following SDG Goals:
4 – Quality education
9 – Industry, Innovation and infrastructure
14 – Life below water
15 – Life on land
17 – Partnerships to achieve the Goal