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Title: Building Capacity of Cotton Farm Employees: Employer Driven Staff Development
Authors: Waters, Warwick
Keywords: labour
cotton industry
skill gaps
human resources
capacity building
Issue Date: 30-Jun-2014
Publisher: Waters Consulting
Series/Report no.: ;CRDC 1328
Abstract: In an increasingly competitive labour market, the ability to retain and develop existing employees is an ongoing challenge for the Cotton Industry. With approximately 4000 employees on cotton farms, even a small shift in labour productivity and retention will have significant benefits to the industry. A previous CRDC project (Understanding the value added by vocational training in the Cotton Industry CRC1217) identified the significant role of employers in the process of developing employee skills, particularly in the identification of training needs, and the application and re-enforcing learning post-training. While training resources have been developed by the industry and the VET sector, there has been limited uptake by employers of staff management training or by existing employees on cotton farms of formal farm production training. This project seeks to understand the motivations and barriers to developing staff management skills and capacity building of employees. This project had three key aims: 1) To test the metrics identified in the Value of Training project in a practical context and identify opportunities for application. This included considering the impact of individual farm capital investment in machinery and use of contractors on labour metrics as well as exploring the options for linking levels of competency of specific areas of practice (planting for example) to farm productivity. This relationship between skill level and productivity has formed the basis of measuring return on investment in training in other agricultural industries. 2) To explore the strengths and limitations of the employers role in identifying skills gaps and training needs and driving the delivery of training by; harnessing the resources available on farm, through industry development programs and through the vocational training system. This will involve a process to reflect on current practice, plan improvements and practically test those changes to the current system. This aim will explore the need and options for delivery of staff management training for employers to develop the skills to improve employee skills and retain current employees. 3) To engage with industry extension and the VET sector to adapt existing training resources and delivery options to meet the identified needs of the case study reference groups. This included consideration of the practical delivery of training for employees.
Appears in Collections:2014 Final Reports

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