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New Zealand Dairy Careers Offers Work Exchange Scheme For Young Kiwi Dairy Farmers To Work In Ireland

New Zealand Dairy Careers (NZDC) and Farm Relief Services (FRS) have announced their collaboration to offer a work exchange scheme, providing opportunities for 18-30-year-old dairy farmers from New Zealand and Ireland.

Under the scheme, young New Zealand citizens have the chance to embark on a 12-month journey to Ireland, where they will work alongside experienced Irish dairy farmers, learning best practices and gaining insights into Irish farming techniques. In turn, Irish participants have the opportunity to experience 12 months in the vibrant dairy industry of New Zealand.

"We’re delighted to join forces with Farm Relief Services to offer this unique opportunity for young farmers passionate about dairy farming," said Matt Jones, Director of NZDC. "This collaboration reflects our commitment to fostering international cooperation in agriculture and empowering the next generation of dairy professionals."

The NZDC-FRS work exchange scheme is designed to facilitate cultural exchange, skill development, and career advancement for individuals involved in the dairy farming industry. Through this partnership, participants have the chance to immerse themselves in a new country, gain hands-on agricultural experience, and forge lifelong connections.

"We’re excited to partner with NZDC to facilitate this exchange of talent and expertise between New Zealand and Ireland," said Colette McInerney, Head of Operations, FRS Network. "This programme provides valuable learning opportunities and promotes collaboration within the global dairy community."

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Simon Henderson from New Zealand has been working on a farm in Co. Kilkenny since he arrived through the exchange scheme in January 2024.

Simon said: “I would recommend the experience to other New Zealanders as it is a good way to look at something differently and to get to the other side of the world and experience the different farming practices and culture. There are more people to less cows on farm in Ireland so there is good support. The support from FRS is also great to have and makes things a lot easier. Cows are wintered off grass, which is different to New Zealand’s common practice, so you gain the knowledge on how to manage housing and animal health in that environment.”

Simon has visited Dublin and other towns in his spare time and plans to do a bus tour around Europe to explore some areas and cities before he heads home.

Key highlights of the NZDC-FRS Work Exchange Programme include:

  • Paid job placements for young New Zealanders on dairy farms in Ireland with average wages ranging from €12.72 to €13.50 per hour.
  • Paid job placements for young Irish on dairy farms in New Zealand with average wages ranging from $25 to $33 per hour.
  • Irish citizens who have already used their New Zealand Working Holiday Visa allocation are also eligible to apply for this Work Exchange Scheme
  • On-the-job training in various aspects of dairy farming, including animal health, pasture management, and farm maintenance.
  • Accommodation options, pastoral support services, assistance with visa applications, travel arrangements, and airport transfers.

Applications for the programme are now open to Irish and New Zealand citizens aged 18 to 30 with at least 12 months of practical farming experience.

Interested candidates can visit the NZDC and FRS websites for more information on eligibility criteria and application procedures.

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