STUDENTS from five Territory schools will present cattle at both the Katherine and Darwin Shows, all vying for the chance to represent the Northern Territory at Rockhampton's Beef Australia in 2018.
More than 100 students from Centralian Senior College, Yirara College, Tennant Creek High School, Katherine High School and Taminmin College have been involved in the Pastoral Futures Program, which sees students learning about the pastoral industry as part of their senior studies.
As part of the program, students undertake either a Certificate I in Agrifoods, Certificate II in Rural Operations or Certificate III in Agriculture, which gives students skills associated with working on a modern pastoral property.
The program creates pathways for students to enter the pastoral industry through work placements conducted on stations or properties, which includes handling horses and cattle and learning first aid.
Andrew Oliver, director of industry engagement and employment pathways, Department of Education said the program, now in its fourth year, was addressing a need to attract young people to work in the pastoral industry, due to the aging workforce.
"This program has been growing over the past few years and seeing students' progress year on year through to the Certificate III in Agriculture has been very exciting," Mr Oliver said.
"It not only benefits the students by giving them hands-on skills, it also allows them to have a direct link to employers through our industry partners.
"The program gives students pathways in the pastoral industry, but also subsidiary industries, such as animal nursing or veterinary services. "Students get a lot of value out of the program as it allows them to receive a formal qualification or credit points towards their Year 12 Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training, all whilst getting hands-on skills."
The program is a partnership between the Department of Education, the Northern Territory Cattleman's Association, Indigenous Land Corporation, Central Land Council, Northern Land Council and Department of Primary Industry and Resources.
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