From orchards to packing sheds, students from six Shepparton schools received an access-all-areas tour of large-scale local fruit growing and packing business JefTomson last week.
Students from Wanganui Park Secondary College, Shepparton High School, McGuire College, Mooroopna Secondary College, Shepparton Flexible Learning Centre and Notre Dame College’s McAuley Champagnat Program took part in the tour that showcased the array of careers within the business across orchards, storage and packing facilities as well as the transport and logistics roles required within the vertically integrated company.
Lighthouse Foundation executive officer Lisa McKenzie said a large-scale community consultation undertaken in 2018 by the organisation showed there was a large disconnect between students’ understanding of local jobs and career pathways available to them within Greater Shepparton.
‘‘Through our work in schools, and in particular through the successful and established local Industry Links program, we are systematically addressing this disconnect,’’ Ms McKenzie said.
‘‘There are growing opportunities within the agricultural and supporting industries within our region and last week’s announcement of significant government investment in a new state-of-the-art plant at JefTomson, along with the creation of another 1000 jobs, further supports the need to link our young people directly to these future opportunities.’’
JefTomson technical manager and Nuffield scholar Bisi Oladele showed students some aspects of the business and said one of the main learnings from her recent Nuffield travel was the importance of industry collaboration with the future workforce.