Perceptions of agriculture as a career – the problems are well understood time to focus on the solutions

 

Over the next 6 months we will be sharing a series of articles showcasing the extraordinary work that is being done to engage young people in conversations about the production of the food they consume and the natural fibres they use and promote career pathways for young people into agriculture.

A significant body of this work is being done in our schools, inviting teachers to empower students to come up with their own solutions to agricultures images and perceptions challenges and opportunities .

We would like to thank Lorraine Chaffer from the NSW&ACT Geography Teacher’s Association for her support in providing context from a teacher’s perspective

What we know:

  • Surveys reveal that Australians, and Australian students, do not understand the importance or value of agriculture in the context of Australia, Asia and the world.
  • Most teachers and students have a general understanding of sustainability and over the course of time develop some understanding about the components or pillars of sustainability – environmental, economic and social.  This will vary between subjects and the focus of school teaching programs. Much of this understanding has a focus on environmental sustainability linked to subject specific topic content. Some of the subjects are electives and not studied by all students.
  • Many senior students (Years 11 and 12) do not choose to study agriculture for their HSC. The subject is perceived as being less valuable than others for ATAR calculations and link to future careers.
  • In K – 10 there are limited opportunities to develop deep, cross curricula knowledge and understanding about sustainability, the importance of agriculture in feeding Australia and the world (and issues of food security) and the application of sustainability considerations in the daily decisions made by farmers.

From an agriculture perspective there is a need to demonstrate:

  • that 82% of careers in the agriculture sector which enable farmers to produce food, fibre and affordable clean energy are in areas with predicted high growth in the future.
  • that the workplace opportunities and multiple career paths in food and fibre production and the study of agriculture presents an excellent prospect for capable students.

We look forward to showcasing the experimentation, the success stories, the learnings, the tweaks and opportunities to multiply the impact of the success stories

#YouthinAg #CareersinSTEM #CareerswithPurpose