Tuesday, 22 June 2021 10:55

50 extra vets not enough

Written by  Jessica Marshall
Julie South, VetStaff, estimates that a further 50 to 75 vets are needed to fill the shortage. Julie South, VetStaff, estimates that a further 50 to 75 vets are needed to fill the shortage.

The Government's recent announcement that they will grant another 50 vets entry to New Zealand will not meet the country's needs, says one recruitment expert.

On 9 June, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor announced border class exceptions would be granted to 50 experienced vets.

Julie South, talent acquisition consultant with VetStaff, says that while the announcement is a good start, she is uncertain how it will alleviate the shortfall, because all veterinary sectors are currently at critical levels.

"Right now, no one seems to know where these 50 vets will be allocated. It could be a lolly scramble with the various sectors fighting to get what they need," South told Dairy News.

She estimates that a further 50 to 75 vets are needed to fill the shortage once the vets already allocated exemptions are in New Zealand.

"However, they need to be the right kind of vets willing to go to where the vacancies are."

She says New Zealand requires experienced dairy, production and companion animal veterinarians.

Another concern is whether the vets entering the country are able to fill vacancies in certain areas of the country and understand what New Zealand is like as a country.

“We need to make sure we’re letting in the right vets for the right vacancies in the right locations.”

South says one reason there is a shortage is because New Zealand has never trained enough vets.

“Vets are on the current long-term skill shortage list. The current shortage is only partly due to the effects of Covid-19. There is a continuing need for vets to be able to come here to work. Letting in 50 vets in a piecemeal fashion like this isn’t getting on top of the problem.”

South has requested an immigration classification change for vets. She wants veterinarians to have their own classification status like doctors, nurses, and other human healthcare workers.

“If veterinarians had their own classification – like their human medical counterparts have had all along – not only would it be more efficient, but it would allow positions to be filled as and where they become vacant.”

She says that while overseas vets are willing to come to New Zealand, many of them also want to work in Australia and don’t mind which country they end up in.

She says that because the Australia government has made it easy for vets to enter the country, that’s where they are opting to go.

“For those who don’t mind – because they’ve never been here, they therefore don’t realise there is a difference between the two countries… but to them it doesn’t matter. And I can’t blame them. If your dream is to emigrate down under or do your OE down under, of course you’re going to go to the country that makes it easy and welcomes you the most.”

She says that although the Australian-bound vets are in the minority, the numbers are increasing.

More like this

Vet scheme wins praise

A Government scheme to place 34 graduate vets in rural areas is winning praise from one recruitment agency.

Petition demands MIQ spaces

A worsening vet shortage has triggered a petition calling for the Government to set aside two MIQ spaces every week for authorised arrivals.

Vets give up!

Qualified overseas vets are giving up on plans to work in New Zealand because they cannot secure MIQ spots.

Vets may choose Oz over NZ

Border restrictions are putting a roadblock in the way of getting more veterinarians to New Zealand and some are even choosing to go to Australia instead, a recruitment consultant says.

Not enough!

The Government's recent announcement that they will grant another 50 vets entry to New Zealand will not meet the country’s needs, says one recruitment expert.

National

Tributes to a dairy champion

Fonterra chairman Peter McBride has paid tribute to dairy industry leader John Luxton, who passed away earlier this month.

Dairy tops organic exports

Dairy has been named as New Zealand’s largest organic sector with exports of $153.8 million, up 55% from 2017.

Machinery & Products

Gongs for John Deere

The tractor of the Year 2022 Awards, held at the recent EIMA show in Bologna, handed out a brace of…

Digital pre-start safety checks

According to numbers published by ACC, more than 60 farm-related injuries are reported every day, leaving much room for improvement.

JV for Bucket Test App

Irrigation NZ and global farm management company CropX have established a joint venture agreement for the Bucket Test app.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Poo-powered BMW

OPINION: Car maker BMW is partnering with a California dairy farm to turn effluent into clean energy to power its…

Not bad

OPINION: New Zealand may be a minnow on the global stage but here’s another example how our ag sector punches…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter