VegPRO – Coordinating Targeted Training for the Vegetable Industry


VegPRO education and training initiative is a R&D levy funded industry education and training initiative that’s role is to provide training, resources, and tools to the Vegetable industry. Whether training is existing or just an idea, VegPRO is here to support your training needs.

VegPRO wants to hear from you about your specific needs to make training happen that is relevant, timely, easy to access and responsive to the ever-changing production environment.

We asked Sophie Lapsley, VegPRO’s Education and Training Coordinator, a few questions about how vegetable growers can make the most out of VegPRO.

What are the three top takeaways for Victorian vegetable growers from VegPRO?

1. Industry must get involved in education and training. Industry should be actively engaging with registered training organisations (RTO’s), TAFES, and/or other training providers to ensure that these organisations are providing the courses that their industry and growers need.

2. There isn’t necessarily a skills gap, it’s a lack of demand. If growers and industry show demand for skills they need by initiating conversations then training providers will be more inclined to offer the appropriate trainings (it’s a chicken & egg dilemma).

3. Industry needs to promote itself as a career. The perception of the industry from the outside can be quite negative, which has significant impacts on recruitment into the industry. The industry would do well to make more of an effort to celebrate their wins and promote the variety of career paths within the Vegetable industry.

Where can growers access VegPRO resources?

They can access everything via:

Within the VegPRO website you can access:

Within the VegPRO LMS there are 3 online courses;

  • Train the trainer – an online training course for those delivering to the vegetable sector with hints and tips on both delivering to adults as well as the horticultural sector
  • Veg Inductions – A basic induction for anyone going in to the vegetable industry highlighting what it is like to work in the sector, workplace expectations, and industry regulations.
  • Handling Fresh Produce Safely – This is a basic course for both packers and pickers highlighting the safe handling of produce to prevent any outbreaks that could cause harm to consumers

Veg Inductions downloadable resources for those without a reliable internet connection.

As a result of VegPRO, what could/should growers do differently?

1. Use the resources we’ve created! Through this project we have created platforms to request training, register as a trainer, undertake online training, and much more. The whole industry will benefit if these resources are utilised.

2. Start conversations with education bodies such as universities and TAFEs. These bodies offer courses that are in demand. If growers start these conversations and create demand then both the education bodies and the growers will benefit.

3. Promote your industry. Get involved in what you can. Spread the word, go to schools, make videos, whatever it is. Promote the Vegetable industry and any career paths within as something positive to be a part of. This could mean promoting the vegetable industry for the positive effects it can have on your health or the environment or anything in between.

4. Make sure we keep these resources alive! If there are any issues with the VegPRO resources moving forward, contact Hort Innovation.

A copy of the final project report can be accessed here.