Building upon career experiences in textile manufacturing, Inki is weaving a new path to ultimately establish a career in the cotton industry, through a Certificate III in Rural Operations (AHC32816) at TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus.

Fee-free TAFE enables Inki to consolidate his knowledge and experience in textile manufacturing and international supply chains, and he is particularly interested in learning more about Australia’s cotton industry and sustainable farming practices.

“My dream job would involve working in cotton farming and trading cotton and hemp with overseas textile manufacturers,” he explained.

Originally from South Korea, Inki completed a bachelor degree at Macquarie University in Sydney more than 16 years ago. After a ten-year career focused on textile trading in China Inki returned to Australia with his wife and child last year and has now settled in Toowoomba.

Inki is currently self-employed as a consultant to Chinese-based textile manufacturing companies. Working as a liaison to customers around the world, Inki advises how to best fulfil the order requirements, assisting with the manufacturing process, and textile specifications.

With a passion for pursuing more sustainable practices in textile manufacturing, and a wide network in the industry, Inki is looking forward to playing a part in promoting the benefits of quality, sustainably-grown Australian cotton in his future career endeavours.

“In my role as a consultant, I’m connected with global textile manufacturers and customers in America, the United Kingdom and Netherlands. I’m interested in learning more about sustainable Australian cropping for raw textile materials and would like to promote the importance of using natural plant-based materials rather than synthetics or artificial textile ingredients,” he said.

Learning from industry-experienced educators in environments that offer a practical insight into the agriculture industry, including a working farm at TAFE Queensland’s Warwick campus and the state-of-the-art, ‘connected’ science laboratory at Toowoomba campus’ Rural Centre of Excellence, have been highlights of Inki’s experience to date.

“All the teachers are experienced in their fields of expertise and they’re very knowledgeable,” Inki said.

“Also, this course offers practical activities at the working farm, and I’ve heard that one of the teachers is from a cotton farm,” Inki added.

Inki believes a Certificate III in Rural Operations (AHC32816) course will provide a pathway to further training and career opportunities in the farming industry. He is planning to progress to further study and enrol in a Diploma of Agriculture (AHC50116) or Diploma of Agribusiness Management (AHC5149) with TAFE Queensland.

According to the Australian Government’s Jobs and Skills Australia employment projections to 2026, the demand for crop farmers is expected to grow strongly and is likely to reach 37,300 workers. While the number of workers with a VET qualification continues to grow, technologies such as GPS guided tractors, computerised irrigation systems, and agricultural drones are changing the farming landscape in Australia.

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