Learner-Focused, Industry-Led, Government-Enabled

Positive Disruption Matters

Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (FFCoVE) exists to challenge the status quo and make a positive impact, not only on vocational training, but also to enable the food and fibre sector to thrive. We work with our stakeholders and partners to identify, encourage and invest in innovative ideas and solutions that set the bar for food and fibre vocational training.

Christopher Fairbank in his article The Importance of Positive Disruption in The Workforce (Forbes, January 2020), said, “positive disruption — or continually reinventing yourself and your brand — can better help people and organizations become more innovative and learn how to stay relevant”. As a sector we need to continually invest, not only in understanding our people and their training needs, but in ensuring the required skills to drive productivity and quality growth are available when we need them. If we work collectively, we can maximise those efforts.   

Common sense says we can’t wait for successive governments, once in each generation, to make the required changes. We need to proactively and continuously look for better ways to train our people, build our businesses through greater efficiencies and grow our share of the world market. Is there risk, absolutely but the bigger risk is to continually look backwards or leave it to someone else and hope for a better day.  

Let’s look at a working example of positive disruption. FFCoVE has carried out a piece of research into the history and current status of residential training in the food and fibre sector, including the idea of group training. The research suggests that there is a case for a modified residential model that incorporates group training into the offering as well. The concept of group training would be new and innovative for food and fibre. Using the experience of other industries and sectors, it is proven that group training grows business participation in the training system. It does this by reducing personnel management and de-risking; recruitment, payroll, pastoral care, staff performance and continuity of employment etc, are all taken care of by the group training scheme. While the service is not free to the host business, the reduction in HR effort required by the host and built-in flexibility saves money.  

Is introducing an innovation like this into food and fibre easy or risk free? No. Is it essential? If the sector genuinely wants to address the shortage of essential skilled talent, then we believe it is absolutely crucial.      

Paul Hollings is the General Manager at Food & Fibre CoVE 

Posted as LinkedIn article 29 January 2023