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The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

QATC Transition PROJECT MANAGEMENT OFFICE (PMO)

27 May 2019 update

STAKEHOLDER UPDATE

The Project Management Office (PMO) is pleased to provide this stakeholder update to inform interested parties of progress in the transition of students, staff and assets of the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC) throughout 2019. Previous updates and background information are available at the QATC web page. Please email the PMO at qatc_pmo@daf.qld.gov.au if you would like further information.

Student transition

Student transition planning is well underway, with all students set to complete their studies with QATC during 2019 or be transitioned to an alternate training provider. QATC staff are closely monitoring student completions and have in place processes for awarding of certificates prior to the end of 2019.

Staff transition

The PMO has worked with QATC and unions, through the Consultative Committee process to develop and monitor a staff transition plan to support access to assistance for staff impacted by the closure of the QATC entity.

Alongside the regular Employee Assistance Program that is available to staff, a contractor will be appointed to implement a QATC Employee Assistance Scheme.

Longreach and Emerald colleges

The second meetings of the Local Community Stakeholder Committees (LCSCs) were held in Emerald on 16 May 2019 and Longreach on 17 May 2019.

Using the priorities that were established at their first meetings, the LCSCs agreed upon a set of guiding principles to capture the intent of the committees and the communities.

The guiding principles will form the basis of an evaluation matrix that will help to guide consideration of proposals put forward for future use of the college facilities.

Longreach Local Community Stakeholder Committee guiding principles

  • An operational model that is a sustainable balance of commercial opportunities ensuring regional benefit.
  • Appropriate utilisation of the assets by all key stakeholders.
  • Community interests and engagement reflected in the overarching supervisions, governance and management of the college assets and operations.
  • Provide industry relevant training, research and development, and education pathways.
  • A facility that provides affordable and relevant courses and is accessible by rural, urban, interstate and international students.

(Key stakeholders including three levels of government, industry and community)

Emerald Local Community Stakeholder Committee guiding principles

  • A hub concept partnership model that incorporates diverse industries, commercial interests and is responsive to the community.
  • A focus on RD&E in relevant industry sectors that focuses on collaboration, adoption and commercialisation with and by end users.
  • Demand-driven, flexible and contemporary training and education pathways that are responsive to industry and the community’s needs and priorities.
  • A positive contribution to the full utilisation of the college’s assets.
  • Financially viable operation that ensures longterm sustainability.

The committees also requested some guiding questions for proposals to be included in a call for proposals document to be circulated by committee members, based on the public call for proposals advertised in the Longreach Leader, CQ News and Queensland Country Life.

The call for proposals documents are available here.

Click here for Longreach  

Click here for Emerald

Interested parties should email their proposal to qatc_pmo@daf.qld.gov.au by 25 June 2019.

Members of the QATC Transition PMO team attended the Longreach Show on 18 May and were pleased to participate in the Longreach Regional Council’s Advancing Agriculture forum. The team will also be in attendance at AgGrow in Emerald 20–22 June 2019.

The next meetings of the LCSCs will occur in Emerald on 26 June 2019 and Longreach on 3 July 2019. A communique will again be shared following the meetings.

Statewide satellite hubs engagement and transition

A consultation with QATC satellite hub staff will take place to identify potential gaps in training delivery options for future students in satellite hub areas due to the wind up of QATC and to collect ideas and suggestions for the future delivery of vet training in hub areas from a staff perspective.

The PMO will attend the Isolated Children’s Parent’s Association (ICPA) state conference in Charters Towers on 5 and 6 June 2019 to provide an update on transition activities and processes and be available to answer questions from delegates.

For more information

Email your ideas, proposals and feedback to us at qatc_pmo@daf.qld.gov.au

DAF PMO Liaison officers can be contacted directly:

Longreach: Roche Angon roche.angon@daf.qld.gov.au

Emerald: Alicia Dunbar alicia.dunbar@daf.qld.gov.au

For further information on the QATC transition process, please contact Alison Mobbs, Director, QATC Transition Project Management Office (PMO), Longreach on 0436 808 827 or alison.mobbs@daf.qld.gov.au

For more background to the QATC transition processes to date, please visit https://www.qatc.edu.au/2019-transition/project-management-office/

7 May 2019 update

STAKEHOLDER UPDATE

Student transition

Currently enrolled QATC students are being supported to either complete their studies with QATC in 2019 or transition to an alternate provider.

The Horsemanship and Breeding program students at the Longreach College will complete their course in June, with the Northern Beef Industries Program students at Emerald College heading off to their six week practical placements in July, on track to complete their studies in 2019.

At this stage, with the ceasing of enrolments, most current students at the statewide satellite hubs will have completed their studies in 2019, with a few exceptions. Transitional arrangements for these students are being progressed by QATC, with student transfers required for veterinary and meat apprenticeships to the student’s choice of provider scheduled to occur by 30 June 2019. 

Staff transition

In April, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner announced an employee assistance scheme for staff affected by the wind down of the QATC entity, which includes 'job search' support, retraining and skills support, as well as special leave and travel assistance.

Up to $500 000 will be available for the scheme, supporting almost 100 existing staff employed by QATC to help secure new jobs and find local employment elsewhere in their communities.

A contractor will be appointed to conduct individual interviews, group training and to develop individual assistance plans with all eligible staff members. 

Longreach and Emerald Colleges

The first meetings of the Local Community Stakeholder Committees (LCSCs) were held in Longreach on 8 April and Emerald on 10 April.

The LCSCs discussed committee make-up, expectations of the committee, processes for the transition and looked at the data collected in the initial engagement phase of the project that identified what is important to stakeholders, both during the transition process and in the future.

An overview of the history of Longreach Pastoral College was shared by the PMO, with input from Rosemary Champion, John Arnold and Belinda Rowbotham. Further information will be sought from Boyd Webb, Rob Carr and others to supplement the information.

An overview of the history of Emerald Agricultural College was compiled by the PMO and shared, from interviews with Tony Hawk (ex-student), Ian Burnett (ex-student and previous College Board member), Mike McCosker (ex-student, staff, and Chairman of Board). Further information will be sought from committee members to finalise this document.

The LCSCs identified and prioritised what was important to the representative organisations and the community, building on the PMO’s engagement and consultations.

The top 10 priorities for the Longreach LCSC are to:

  • train young people in industry-relevant agriculture (what industry wants, demand driven)
  • seek all sustainable commercial opportunities, e.g. council, school camps, machinery tickets
  • provide affordable options for students
  • allow diversification of training, not just agriculture
  • ensure a balanced investment between industry and government
  • gain the support of industry-respected staff
  • ensure key industry stakeholders embedded in the decision-making process
  • be accessible by urban, interstate and international young people
  • provide pathways to university training, tertiary / vocational
  • build curriculum content sustainable to employers’ needs in industries, ensuring high credibility of product (accredited and non-accredited).

The top 10 priorities for the Emerald LCSC are to:

  • bring stakeholders together so there is something greater than a single institution—hub concept
  • continue research, development and extension* (amalgamation of R&D 5 priorities)
  • provide flexible training delivery model responsive to industry needs and priorities
  • have diversity in training options, including for other industries
  • collaborate with private industry for commercialisation
  • fully utilise assets
  • proposals to be economically viable and demand driven
  • support business management training
  • be pathways across industries driven from high school starting point
  • include residential boarding facilities at high school level

These priorities will form the basis of five guiding principles for each college, which will be used by the PMO in the assessment and validation of ideas and partnerships put forward for proposed future use of each facility.

The next meetings of the LCSCs will occur in Emerald on 16 May and Longreach on 17 May. A communique will be shared following the meetings.

Members of the QATC Transition PMO team will attend the Longreach Show on 18 May to participate in the Longreach Regional Council’s Advancing Agriculture forum and to share information about the transition process within the Advancing Agriculture marquee.

A process has commenced to seek commercial proposals and training options for partnership opportunities for the use of Agricultural College facilities in Longreach and Emerald.

The process will ensure that all possible options are appropriately explored. Interested parties should email their proposal to qatc_pmo@daf.qld.gov.au by 25 June 2019. 

Statewide satellite hubs engagement and transition

The PMO have engaged with a range of stakeholders, including TAFE Queensland, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, Agforce Queensland, Central Queensland University, Regional Development Australia Central West Fitzroy, Queensland Agricultural Workforce Network officers, the Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance and QATC staff and students.

The PMO will be guided by input from these stakeholders to address any gaps created by the wind-down of the QATC entity in providing vocational training for industry and to the students who would usually have enrolled through the QATC statewide satellite hubs.

The PMO will attend the Isolated Children’s Parent’s Association (ICPA) state conference in Charters Towers in early June to provide an update on transition activities and processes and be available to answer questions from delegates. 

BACKGROUND

Successive Queensland Governments have made considerable efforts to improve the relevance and performance of the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC) and have invested considerable funding to keep them operating. 

As a result of declining student numbers and successive deficits, Emeritus Professor Peter Coaldrake was engaged to provide recommendations on how to grow the vocational education, training and skills sector in central-western Queensland.

The purpose of the review was to optimise the government’s investment in vocational education and training in the region to ensure employers have access to a skilled workforce and prospective students can access local quality training and employment opportunities.

The Queensland Government considered Professor Coaldrake’s recommendations and decided to close the QATC at the end of 2019 and repurpose the colleges’ facilities.

This means the QATC business entity will cease to manage the significant assets currently owned by the QATC at that time. The Queensland Government will be guided by local community members and organisations about how to best repurpose the use of these assets and facilities to benefit the whole training delivery scenario for all central-western Queensland industries, including agriculture.

This decision was not taken lightly and the government is committed to engaging widely with local communities, businesses and education providers to determine the best way to repurpose the available training facilities and assets, so they can be used more effectively. 

March 2019 update

A designated DAF Project Management Office (PMO) has been established to deliver the Queensland Government’s response to the Coaldrake Review.  Charles Burke has been appointed as the Executive Director leading the DAF PMO and Alison Mobbs has been appointed as Director for the DAF PMO and based in Longreach.

DAF PMO liaison officers have also been appointed in Longreach and Emerald. Roche Angon comes to the DAF PMO team from QATC in Longreach and Alicia Dunbar from DAF Emerald.

A key function of the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC) Transition DAF PMO is to develop an Economic Transition Strategy for college staff, students and assets. 

Longreach and Emerald Colleges

As part of the process for determining the Economic Transition Strategy, local community stakeholder committees in Longreach and Emerald have been appointed. The committees will provide advice and input into the development of the strategy.

Representatives from key stakeholder organisations have been invited to nominate delegates to participate in local community stakeholder committees (LCSC). 

Public meetings, held in Longreach and Emerald in the last week of March, provided an information update on transition activities and determined the community representatives for the local community stakeholder committees.

The committees will be chaired by Charles Burke, with membership as follows:

Longreach Local Community Stakeholder Committee

Cr Trevor

Smith

Longreach Regional Council

Cr Tony

Rayner

Longreach Regional Council

Cr Rob

Chandler

Remote Area Planning and Development Board

Kristine

Arnold

Remote Area Planning and Development Board

Belinda

Rowbotham

Longreach Pastoral College Past Students and Staff Association

Phillip

Stiles

Longreach Pastoral College, QATC College Staff

Donald

Brown

AgForce Queensland

Peter

Smith

AgForce Queensland

Liza

Cameron

Longreach State High School

Peter

Homan

OQTA Longreach Tourism

Louise

Martin

Community - State Vice President ICPA, sheep producer, past student, Tambo

Boyd

Webb

Community - Local grazier, Muttaburra

Jacquetta

Arnold

Community - Past QATC employee, Longreach local

 

Emerald Local Community Stakeholder Committee

Cr Kerry

Hayes

Central Highlands Regional Council

Cr Gail

Godwin Smith

Central Highlands Regional Council

Sandra

Hobbs

Central Highlands Development Corporation

Liz

Alexander

Central Highlands Development Corporation

Prof Helen

Huntly

CQ University

Prof Grant

Stanley

CQ University

Rachele

Malone

QATC Emerald College Staff

Ian

Burnett

AgForce Queensland

Peter

Smith

AgForce Queensland

Aaron

Kiely

Central Highlands Cotton Growers & Irrigators

Shari

Barwick

Resources Industry

Ray

Clarke

Emerald Region Schools - State

Mark

Green

Emerald Region Schools – Catholic

Graeme

Johnston

Emerald Region Schools - Christian Colleges

Janice

Moriarty

Community - Emerald Neighbourhood Centre

Simone

Parker

Community - CHRRUP

Alistair

Malone

Community - Ag industry

Geoff

Dein

Community - AgGrow

Andrew

Hawkins

Community - Past Student, long term local

Jenny

Ryan

Community - QCWA Blackwater

Matthew

Barnes

Community - Ag industry / Tinkelara

The transition PMO looks forward to working with stakeholders to identify ways to grow the vocational education, training and skills sector in central-western Queensland, including through leveraging existing educational offerings and facilities. The outcome will help to boost economic growth and regional resilience for the Emerald and Longreach communities and regions. 

Statewide

The DAF PMO and the executive of QATC are working closely and collaboratively to ensure a smooth transition of staff, students and assets. To date, DAF PMO team members have visited most of the regional hubs and both colleges, meeting with staff, students and other stakeholders from Walkamin to Dalby.

The DAF PMO have engaged a range of stakeholders including TAFE Queensland, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, Agforce Queensland, Central Queensland University, Regional Development Australia Central West Fitzroy, Queensland Agricultural Workforce Network officers, the Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance as well as QATC staff and students.

The Economic Transition Strategy will develop a plan for the future use of all QATC educational and production assets and resources. During the ‘teach-out’ period of 2019, QATC facilities will remain open and be fully maintained. Timing for the repurposing of these assets will depend on elements of the strategy being finalised and agreed by key stakeholders.