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A Bonshaw farmer, Murray Hall, believes it’s never too late to broaden your skill-set to get ahead as newly released figures reveal that the advancement of digital technologies are impacting the agribusiness industry.
TAFE NSW research reveals that the agriculture sector is of vital importance to the state’s economy, accounting for 36.4% of industry employment. Primary producers and operators are seeking greater efficiencies to increase productivity, reduce costs of labour intensive work practices and source to market delivery times to meet consumer expectations.
As a result, farmers and farm hands are identifying needs for foundational skills in computer and smart phone technologies, automated systems and an understanding of how the range of available smart tools can be applied.
Mr Murray, 54, is a shining example of the findings of this research. After not studying for 40 years, he realised he needed to reskill to be confident in using a computer to enable him to keep running his small farm in Bonshaw.
“My wife and I live 130 kilometres from Inverell. Traveling to TAFE NSW every Friday to study a Certificate I in Information Technology has been so worth it.
“I would recommend doing this course to others in my situation as the TAFE NSW teachers work with you, not against you and I now have the skills to search for information on the internet to help my farm and apply to sell livestock,” Mr Murray said. “I even have an excel spreadsheet rain chart to monitor rainfall for my area now.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Information Technology, Jacqueline Sheehan, said it was inspirational to see students like Murray build the confidence and skills to operate their businesses more efficiently and motivated to continue their learning at TAFE NSW.
“Murray is now using the technology he has learnt to manage his farm, that he would never have learnt had he not taken the leap to be a skill seeker at TAFE NSW.”
Ms Sheehan said the Certificate I and II in Information Technology really appeal to those wanting to relaunch and extend their careers by learning practical skills to maintain their businesses.
To find out more about studying Information Technology courses at TAFE NSW, www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information.