Graduate program in South Australia set to boost food companies and students

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Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

South Australian food companies are invited to fill a skills gap and boost their business by joining the South Australian Government’s Graduate Access Program (GAP).

Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In its third year, the program offers subsidies and administrative support to connect South Australian food companies with appropriate university and TAFE graduates in fields as diverse as food technology and quality control all the way through to marketing, logistics and financial systems.

Minister for Agriculture Gail Gago revealed the program was part of the State Government’s Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment strategic priority and promoted people, product and business development.

“Graduates are targeted and matched to food companies, providing the opportunity to add technical, marketing or commercial expertise at an affordable cost. Many of the graduates apply for full-time positions after their subsidised six-month placement,” Ms Gago said.

In a statement, food industry leader Maggie Beer is one of a growing number of SA firms which support the program. The Nuriootpa company has placed GAP staff for the past two years.

“Our quality assurance division is preparing to take on its second GAP food industry placement this year. The administrative support and financial incentives help our company, while graduates are given a more streamlined insight into their future career,” Mrs Beer said.

Anne Wong, a graduate who came from Singapore to study in Australia has revealed she’s enjoying the opportunity to shape her career path with ‘real’ industry experiences.

“The program allows me to learn more about the South Australian food industry and understand where the opportunities and growth are occurring, and provides a chance to get into the real world and apply what we learnt at university,” Ms Wong, 25, said.

The three-year GAP program is a joint initiative of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), Food SA and the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI) – the State Government’s principal research organisation within PIRSA.

‘The program offers subsidies of up to one-third of the cost of employing a graduate during the six months of the program,’ SA.

For more information visit www.sardi.sa.gov.au