On 5 July 2016 the Training and Skills Commission visited the Barossa Valley to consult with local industry and community leaders about the skills and workforce development needs of the region.

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The visit provided the Commission with the opportunity to understand first- hand about the economic environment, employment opportunities, workforce development and training as well as the challenges facing the Barossa Valley community.

The Commission hosted an industry lunch where community leaders spoke about workforce planning, skills needs and participation issues for the region’s economy.

Anthony Kittel, Chair of The Training and Skills Commission said that topics discussed included leadership development, the emerging importance of “soft skills’ with a particular emphasis on communication skills. Stakeholders actively spoke of the need to create partnerships between various industries to better support a seasonal workforce with a focus on linking local industries in order to attract employees all year round and the associated benefits.

Anthony Kittel also provided feedback to the Barossa community on the work of the Commission including the recently released Report to Government on South Australia’s Industry Priority Qualification.

Other highlights of the visit included a site visit to TAFE SA (Barossa) Campus, with a tour taking in the recently expanded Horticulture and Winery facilities, new Library and information services centre and some of the major programs being delivered to the Barossa community.

Commission members toured Treasury Wine Estate’s (TWE) Bilyara Packaging Centre, a state of the art, purpose built facility that makes use of advanced technology to reduce freight distances, reduce stock carrying costs, along with greater innovation in packaging to reduce production cost and increase productivity .

Of particular note to the Commission was the Centre's integrated, semi-automated warehousing facility and the highly advanced skills and training program deployed by the company. Commission members experienced first-hand the scale of the operation, seeing the robotic palletising of products as well as the high-speed bottling capacity. Importantly the Commission had the opportunity to discuss with TWE staff their workforce planning, skills requirements and employment opportunities.