Former Primary Industries Minister and Fonterra board aspirant Nathan Guy believes his relationships with bureaucrats in Wellington will help the co-op’s farmers immensely.
"The report highlights that employment in the primary industries is expected to increase by 50,000 by 2025 to reach the Government's goal of an export double. Over half of these workers will need a tertiary or Level 4 qualification," says Guy.
Guy says the report is a snapshot of the future skills required across the sector. "There's good capacity in our tertiary education system to meet this need. The challenge for all of us is to inspire more young people to obtain good qualifications and work in the sector," he says.
"The new primary sector vocational pathway at senior secondary level, the new combined primary sector ITO, the EPIC challenge, and dedicated primary sector institutions like Lincoln, Massey, Taratahi and Telford will all play a part alongside the industry in achieving this.
"We also have many opportunities, such as the National Fieldays, for industry to showcase itself and entice the next robotic engineer, food scientist or silviculturist into the engine room of New Zealand's economy," says Guy.
The report also finds that primary industries will remain a major source of employment, especially in the regions. In some regions, such as Gisborne, Tasman, Marlborough and Southland, they account for nearly one in every three jobs.
The report was funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries, DairyNZ, and Beef + Lamb New Zealand with support from primary industry representatives.