They (the primary industries)will need a higher proportion of well-qualified staff – with post-school education and training.
Andy Somerville, CEO Primary Industry Capability Alliance.
A recent investigation into the future capability needs of the primary industries has clearly spelt out the significant challenge that exists.
The primary industries – including pastoral farming, horticulture, fishing, forestry and the associated enterprises such as manufacturers and marketers – accounted for 350,000 or 16% of the national workforce in 2012.
A report commissioned by the Ministry for Primary Industries and industry groups that was released in April 2014, shows that in order to meet their growth targets these industries will need to maintain this proportion of the workforce, taking their total worker numbers up to 403,500 by 2025.
But more significantly, they will need a higher proportion of well-qualified staff – with post-school education and training. In particular, more specialist skills will be required in science, marketing, engineering, IT, robotics, automatic processing and technical and management support.
Leaders of these industries are confident they can offer interesting careers for young people. Their challenge is to communicate this to young New Zealanders.
With this in mind, several organisations are backing the new Primary Industry Capability Alliance – known as PICA. MPI is a partner in PICA, along with DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb, Young Farmers, Primary ITO, Lincoln University and Taratahi. A number of other organisations are looking to join to assist in this collaborative approach.
PICA has started by developing a strategy to support schools in providing clear career options for students. This will be a major focus for PICA over 2015.
The PICA alliance members will join forces at the Careers Expo to provide an industry wide message about the breadth of exciting and rewarding jobs available. The PICA stand will provide collateral to educate the Expo attendees about the wide variety of career paths available in the primary industries.
• For further information about PICA, contact Andy Somerville phone 027 289 7162 or email email@example.com