DairyNZ strategy and investment leader Jenny Jago said it is critical for the primary sector’s future to attract, train and retain skilled people in the sector.
“There are many rewarding opportunities in the dairy sector. A consistent message we hear from our farmers is that they struggle to find staff with the right skills,” said Dr Jago. “The centre is a core part of the government’s current reform of vocational education and this announcement indicates the importance of the primary sector and the wealth of career opportunities it offers.”
“We are excited by the collaborative model the centre will operate under. It will allow education providers and the primary sector to work together to develop and deliver training which meets the needs of farmers and the wider sector,” Dr Jago adds.
Dr Jago says DairyNZ has been working closely with other primary sector organisations to share the sector’s needs as a whole with government, and this announcement reflects the work undertaken to date.
The new centre will be located at a regional campus of the New Zealand Institute of Science and Technology, or at a wānanga.
“We are pleased to see the centre will have a focus on strengthening pathways into primary sector careers. It will be critical that the new centre creates strong relationships in the regions and with local communities to ensure the learning needs of individuals within our rural communities are met. A regional location will help the centre to build these connections,” said Dr Jago.
“The dairy sector makes a huge contribution to the wellbeing of communities and we want to be able to continue to develop our sector by recruiting and retaining skilled workers,” she adds.
This year the primary sector is forecast to contribute $45.6 billion in export revenues. The dairy sector contributed $16.7 billion in export revenue in 2018 and employs more than 38,000 people directly.
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