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Addressing skills shortages in dairy farming


“The scheme is a collaboration between Government and industry to address the skills shortages in dairy farming and increase employment opportunities for New Zealanders,” says Mr Joyce. 

“As part of the Business Growth Agenda, we are working closely with particular industries where there are not enough trained New Zealanders to fill the skill needs of that industry. This programme will provide young Kiwis with opportunities to get a careers in one of New Zealand’s most important industries.”

The group scheme is led by dairy farmers across Canterbury who have come together to form the Canterbury Farm Capability Society. It is supported by education providers such as Aoraki Polytechnic and Primary ITO, and by government agencies including the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

“Today’s launch is marked by the successful graduation of the first group of trainees to complete the pre-employment training programme, ready to take on a career in the dairy industry,” says Ms Tolley. 

“The training programme, funded by MSD, consists of six weeks of classroom and practical on-farm work and a one-week placement on farms that belong to the Society.

“We are always working to find innovative ways to help people find long term, sustainable work and ensure they have the skills and experience to suit the sector.”

Future stages of the Society’s work will include opening the group scheme up to school-leavers such as those taking the primary sector pathway of the Youth Guarantee as well as New Zealanders from other parts of New Zealand looking to start careers in the dairy sector, including MSD clients.

This programme is part of the Sector Workforce Engagement Programme which is a multi-agency initiative developing employment partnerships with industries facing skills shortages. It operates under the Skilled and Safe Workplaces strand of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda.


Steven Joyce and Anne Tolley

December 2015 2012