Federated Farmers Supports New Apprenticeship Support Programme
The Government’s Apprenticeship Support Programme announcement is a win for farm employers and workers, says Federated Farmers employment spokesperson Chris Lewis.
The programme provides $380 million for employers to take on and train apprentices under approved apprenticeship programmes, and will be implemented from August 2020.
"COVID-19 has unfortunately meant a lot of New Zealanders are looking for work.
"Fortunately, the farming sector has been able to continue working through and there is strong demand for workers, particularly given restrictions on immigration. While the industry still needs to hang on to all the experienced staff that we have, including migrants, this extra investment will help Kiwis from other sectors make the move into agriculture," Chris says.
One of the key problems farmers face is the costs associated with taking on and training new staff, who are new to the sector.
"The Apprenticeship Support programme addresses some of those costs, providing an incentive and support for farmers looking to take on inexperienced staff and support for workers transitioning to farming.
"Existing programmes such as the Federated Farmers Apprenticeship Dairy scheme can be critical for training and retaining good staff," Chris says.
The recent Federated Farmers - Rabobank Farm Remuneration Report underlines the number of well-paid roles and progression pathways in the farming sectors, combined with a great lifestyle.
"The Apprenticeship Support Programme will make the transition and retention of new workers a lot easier, benefiting farmers, workers and the economy as we rebound from the effects of COVID-19," Chris says.