An innovative industry needs an innovative workforce. With its reputation for advanced technology and continuous innovation, the Australian cotton industry draws on the expertise of a range of workers, including on-farm workers and contractors, agronomists and consultants, and research scientists, to name a few. Yet, there is the very real potential for disruptive new technologies to demand changes to workforce profiles of the industry. This challenge raises the question, what is the expertise—the personal strengths, knowledge, skills—that the future workforce needs to maintain and improve the cotton industry’s strong production outputs in a competitive market?
ACCELL and CRDC postdoctoral research fellow, Dr Nicole McDonald, is researching and developing practical strategies to support the cotton industry to attract and develop the next generation of expert workers. Your input to this R&D is valuable. Please take 5 minutes to register your interest via the link below:
The first phase of Dr McDonald’s applied R&D project will identify:
- the career motivations of the next generation of workers,
- the workers who are set to innovate and capitalise on new technology, and
- the support and training needed to maximise the potential of these workers.
The findings of the R&D will inform evidence-based strategies for workforce management and development for cotton production businesses and, more broadly, the cotton industry.
Many cotton growers are advocates for attracting and developing new talent in the industry. Excellent initiatives such as the Cotton Gap Year are proving very useful. There are obvious benefits to recruiting new talent and investing in training. But, employing a relatively inexperienced recruit can be risky. And, transferring what is learned in training to enhance on-the-job performance can be challenging, particularly when new skills learned in training may be lost within a year if not put to good use. These are just some of the reasons why this R&D project is so important.
We want to support growers and other professionals in the cotton industry to ensure their future workforce is the best they can be, and that the cotton industry is the first choice for talented and capable young people making career decisions.
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK
- Do you work in a cotton industry profession either on-farm, or related to farm production (e.g., growers, farm hands, agronomists, consultants, scientists, researchers, extension officers, contractors)?
- Are you someone who has been working in the cotton industry for 5 years or less?
- Do you currently employ someone who has been working in the cotton industry for 5 years or less?
If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions then we want to hear from you. It takes only 5 minutes to register your interest via the link below:
This project is supported by the Cotton Research Development Corporation (CRDC).