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Expo To Attract Northlanders To The Horticulture Industry

Attracting Northlanders into horticulture is the goal for an expo and ‘speed-meet’ taking place next Wednesday in Kerikeri.

The GoHort Northland Expo starting at 10.00am will bring together growers, industry bodies, government agencies and training providers to plan workforce demand, learn about funding and training opportunities for career progression, and identify employment opportunities.

A two-hour speed-meet starting at 12.15pm will match growers with those looking for work in the sector.

What: GoHort Northland Expo and speed meet

Where: Cornerstone Church, Kerikeri

When: Wednesday 9 December

Industry event: 10.00am to 11.45pm followed by lunch

Speed-meet: from 12.15pm

Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman says that with labour supply in the sector severely disrupted by Covid, the expo is a much-needed collaboration to attract Northlanders into the sector.

"The horticulture industry’s immediate focus is to create a fit, qualified and mobile workforce for the current season.

"At the same time, the sector will use the expo to look at workforce demand beyond next year and promote permanent opportunities for those who want to stay in horticulture and climb the career ladder."

Ministry of Social Development Regional Commissioner, Eru Lyndon says that the horticulture industry offers enormous potential for Northland jobseekers.

"As a growing sector and the biggest export earner in the Far North, horticulture is an ideal candidate for our post-Covid economic recovery. For locals who take up the seasonal jobs, we can help with transport to work, financial support to buy work clothes and job training and pastoral care.

"Our team has strategies in place and is busy recruiting job seekers to meet growers’ demand for workers over the summer period.

"The package for workers announced by the Government also offers support for people who relocate to take up a seasonal job. Where people have to pay two lots of accommodation costs, there’s a maximum of $200 per week available for up to 13 weeks. There’s also an incentive payment of $1000 for those who relocate and successfully complete a contract that’s six weeks or longer.

"Supporting employer expos and working with the employers to better understand workforce demands and skills requirements will help create a pathway to sustainable employment for Northlanders."

The GoHort Northland Expo is supported by Citrus New Zealand, Blueberries New Zealand, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, New Zealand Avocado, and the Ministry of Social Development.

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