One of the guiding principles of Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is to introduce students to the world of work and encourage the uptake of agricultural careers by presenting the industry as an exciting option for a career with purpose.
Together with our supporting partners PYiA delivers the in-school programs Kreative Koalas ( primary students) and The Archibull Prize (secondary students) to ensure career development begins on the first day of school.
This life-long learning journey is further strengthened by the engagement of Young Farming Champions, a cohort of young agricultural professionals who relate easily to students.
- Align with the National Career Education Strategy using bottom-up tried and tested innovative localised approaches targeting wants and needs of teachers, students, parents and carers.
- Support partnerships to thrive between schools, education and training providers, employers, parents and carers, and the broader community.
- Ensure students have transferable skills that equip them for the future of work.
Our surveys and research over the last decade have proven this to be a highly effective model of keeping agriculture careers front of mind, improving agricultural career outcomes, creating educational pathways and catering for the needs of teachers and students and the future workforce and employers.
Kreative Koalas is an action learning program for primary school students that introduces them to the world of work through connection to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. Kreative Koalas embeds sustainability across multiple Key Learning Areas of the school curriculum and encourages students to develop external collaborations with professionals within their community; expanding their understanding of the world of work as they learn how people in different jobs contribute to a sustainable future.
We were lucky to have the opportunity to have a Zoom meeting with farmer and environmentalist Karin Stark, whose family uses renewable energy (solar) to power their cotton and wheat farm. This was an extremely valuable experience, as students were able to develop their knowledge and understanding of how renewable energy can be used in different communities for different purposes.
The Archibull Prize then consolidates this introduction by showing students career pathways to sustainability though the lens of agriculture and asking them to investigate innovative approaches to problem solving in an industry that requires multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills. Throughout The Archibull Prize students develop the transferable 21st century skills that underpin employability for the future.
“Picture You in Agriculture’s school-based programs support the establishment of school-industry partnerships, connecting young people with the world of work in agriculture. Delivered to students K-12, these programs were adapted by teachers to meet the developmental needs of students and used to integrate a range of subject interests and skills into project-based learning activities. Teachers were empowered to collaborate with local community groups, employers, and organisations which meant the program activities provide effective career guidance in ways that are meaningful for students. It is promising, that in a year where teachers reported significant challenges with student’s engagement at school due to COVID-19 restrictions, that both The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas programs successfully contributed to the development of participants 21st century skills and increased interest in careers in agriculture.” Dr Nicole McDonald PhD in Vocational Psychology of Agriculture, BSci. (Hons.) Psychology Program Evaluation
Underpinning the success of both Kreative Koalas and The Archibull Prize are the Young Farming Champions (YFC). Due to their age (often not much older than the students they connect with) YFC become role models. They are memorable, credible, passionate about their industries and they disrupt stereotypical images of what a farmer is.
See how 2020/2021 Australian Young Farmer of the Year, Emma Ayliffe is sharing her journey to be a farmer with students here
Students learning from a YFC realise careers in agriculture can be high-level, STEM-based worlds of opportunity.
Value adding to the one-off engagement events like careers fairs offered by industry, YFC go into schools as part of a 12-week immersion process providing multiple touch points for learning and two way conversations. For these 12 weeks the YFC are basically on speed-dial for teachers and students.
YFC are trained by PYiA to be advocates for agriculture and positive role models for younger generations. Through their training they are given opportunities to practice in safe environments to become confident communicators and trusted voices in the communities in which they work and live. Horizontal development comes from online and in-person workshops where they build their skills and knowledge. Vertical development comes from the multiple opportunities to stretch themselves and interact with thought-leaders and strategists from around the world.
Our YFC represent a range of industries and professions in agriculture.
They firstly learn to lead themselves then, as alumni, they learn to lead others while being supported by mentors from their sponsor organisations or workplace and through the YFC alumni buddy system. This produces young people who understand the importance of listening to understand and are confident sharing their story with students and opening students (teachers, parents and influencers) minds to changing images and perceptions about careers. Our research shows that YFC as role models are the key to opening the door.
Through Kreative Koalas, The Archibull Prize and Young Farming Champions, PYiA is providing leadership and career development action learning opportunities for young people from Prep to early 30s; showcasing the world of work in agriculture and sustainability and providing pathways and skills for the workforce of tomorrow.
A little bit of trivia to show its working
- Nationally, the most popular broad field of education (in terms of the number of applications) in 2020 was Health (74,780 applicants or 26.0 per cent of all applicants). This was followed by Society and Culture (69,036 applicants or 24.0 per cent) and Management and Commerce (32,516 applicants or 11.3 per cent).
- Fields of education that recorded strongest growth in applications in 2020 were Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies (10.8 per cent), followed by Information Technology (9.8 per cent), Natural and Physical Sciences (3.1 per cent), Society and Culture (2.3 per cent), Education (2.0 per cent), Health (1.7 per cent), Engineering and Related Technologies (1.1 per cent) and Architecture and Building (0.7 per cent Source
At PYiA we believe leaders are made. They are products of their environments, of the people surrounding them, nurturing them, and INVESTING IN THEM.
We thank our supporting partners for investing in our Young Farming Champions
We thank our supporting partners for investing in the wellbeing of young Australians by ensuring students:
- have the skills and capabilities to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing world of work.
- have access to high-quality career education, and
- make more informed career and pathway decisions to prepare them for life beyond school.
#agriculture #SDGs #careersinstem #careerswithpurpose #careersinagriculture #youthinag