Edward Walton graduated at the UQ Gatton campus yesterday
Edward Walton graduated at the UQ Gatton campus yesterday
13 December 2012

Twenty two students are taking the next step in their careers after graduating from the Queensland Certificate in Agriculture (QCA) at The University of Queensland (UQ) yesterday.

The QCA is a year-long program offered by UQ's Gatton-Vocational Education Centre created to guide and develop students who are planning a career in the agriculture, horticulture and animal industries.

Graduate Edward Walton, who lives on the Gold Coast, chose to complete a QCA after studying agriculture whilst at The Southport School and recognised the benefits that the program offers.

“My studies through agriculture at school gave me a keen interest in the industry,” Mr Walton said.

“Being born and raised on the Gold Coast, I chose the QCA for that fact that I was able to learn practical and theoretical agriculture across a broad spectrum of agriculture industries.”

The program consists of four applied skills courses and four theory courses, with the students also undertaking a variety of hands-on skills training including Tractor and Machinery Operation; Cropping Practices; Animal Husbandry Practices and Rural Business Management Principles and Practices.

“My favourite aspect of the course would have to be the practical farming experience and tutelage I was given,” Mr Walton said.

“The instructors are experienced and taught me valuable skills such as how to drive a tractor and quad bike safely, the correct operation of chainsaws and welders and also working with livestock.”

The QCA is a unique educational program, which enables graduates direct entry into the workforce or higher-level university or vocational educational systems.

Graduates can find employment in a range of industries from intensive to extensive agriculture, livestock, horticulture, government departments, agribusinesses and industry organisations.

Mr Walton has the intention of entering the agriculture or mining industry as a diesel fitter, with the long term goal being to manage his own business.

“I wish to go on into an apprenticeship as a diesel fitter then move into the agricultural or mining industry. In 10 years I envision myself hopefully managing my own business, however there’s a lot of ground to cover before then,” he said.

Mr Walton graduated, along with the other Queensland Certificate in Agriculture students, yesterday in a ceremony at The University of Queensland Gatton Campus.

For enquiries about the Queensland Certificate in Agriculture contact the UQ Gatton Vocational Education Centre on (07) 5460 1353 or email enquiries_gvec@uq.edu.au.

Media: Erin Pearl, UQ Gatton, 07 5460 1229, e.pearl@uq.edu.au