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Finley is focused on a farming future

Despite not being born ‘on the land,’ school-based trainee Finley Cameron eagerly anticipates a future career in agriculture. And at just 15 years old, he’s already gaining valuable work experience and training with TAFE Queensland.

Every week, Finley visits Youngs Farm in Wooroolin where he hones his practical skills on the expansive 1000-acre property.

“I work at Youngs Farm every Wednesday and do practical work,” Finley, a Booie local, began.

“I've learnt concreting to tagging to drafting. I get to do everything, from assisting with the crops, to working with the cattle and pigs.”

Finley learnt about TAFE Queensland’s school-based traineeship program during a school visit from TAFE Queensland Agriculture Teacher, Mikaela Ross.

He chose to purse a Certificate III in Agriculture (AHC30122) traineeship because it sounded like something that he would really enjoy.

“Mikaela encouraged me to send my resume to Youngs Farm. We discussed a school-based traineeship and they offered me the opportunity,” explained Finley.

Looking back on his journey, Finley commends the seamless learning experience provided by TAFE Queensland

“They (the teachers) show you everything you need to know. They’ve taught me a lot and have been super helpful. The amount of knowledge you gain is unbelievable,” said Finley.

Ag industry expert and educator, Mikaela Ross, guides Finley, and a growing cohort of students across Queensland, who are keen to grow their careers in agriculture.

“I have students completing Certificate III in Agriculture (AHC30116) traineeships located as far north-west as Cloncurry and as far south as Beaudesert,” Mikaela said.

“I also teach foundational skills to high school students undertaking the Certificate II in Rural Operations (AHC21216) via the TAFE at School program at the Kingaroy campus.”

And as for Finley’s future, he remains committed to pursuing a career within the industry.

“Once I finish my course I’d like to keep working here — at Youngs Farm (if they want me around!). I’ll also finish Grade 12 and then I'll look to get a job in agriculture, whether that's working on a station or if it's operating machinery — any of that sort of stuff,” Finn shared.

Co-owner of Youngs Farm, Sharon Young, said that hiring school-based apprentices enables employers to train enthusiastic young individuals before they graduate from high school.

“We believe that traineeships are a great way to help build a skilled workforce for our business, and we can align the training to suit the requirements of our farm,” said Sharon.

“It’s been great having Finley as part of our team on the farm. He’s keen to get stuck in and is gaining exposure to the variety of tasks that a role in the ag industry can offer.”