Wednesday, 10 June 2020 12:03

Contractors back training initiatives

Written by  Staff Reporters
RCNZ President David Kean. RCNZ President David Kean.

Southern-based rural contractors have lent machinery and support to three training initiatives aimed at attracting those who’ve lost jobs to work in the farming and contracting sector.

Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) recently ran three training opportunities around the region to allow people to experience a range of primary sector activities.

A six-week Agricultural Contractor course starts on June 15. This is being held in two-week blocks at Telford – with farm health and safety, basic mechanics, tractor driving and towing, before moving into advance driver training. The final two weeks are a work placement. 

All costs for the courses, including meals and accommodation are being provided by SIT, which also has support from the Ministry for Primary Industries and Rural Contractors NZ (RCNZ).

RCNZ President David Kean says it’s great to see SIT’s efforts in attracting people into rural contracting and farming work.

“Our industry is crying out for people and we’ve always tried to recruit Kiwis. Until now, we’ve had to bring in around 150 skilled machinery operators every spring/summer season, but that will be unlikely for 2020/21 at least.

“In the meantime, there are lots of Kiwis who’ve lost jobs and these SIT initiatives give them every chance to look at rural contracting and farm work, learn some basic skills and get into a good job.”

Kean says those who can competently drive complex agricultural machinery can earn a decent living here, as well as Australia and wider destinations when that opens up. 

“My own son had a stint across in west Australia and funded himself into a new ute,” he adds. “Contractors and farmers in the UK and Ireland are also among those keen to employ New Zealand machinery operators. There can be good travel and earn opportunities.”

RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton worked with SIT to help bring together the expos and training.

“Much of the learning involves machinery so we’ve reached out to our members and the Tractor and Machinery Association.”

Parton says RCNZ has been working at developing some of its own training initiatives and is aware that parallel courses to those being run by SIT are being actively developed for the North Island.

“Rural contractors will back any initiative that gives opportunities to New Zealanders who’ve lost jobs and want to retrain for our sector.”

More like this

Ag contractors still in business

Rural Contractors NZ has confirmed that agricultural contracting is regarded as an essential service through the COVID-19 shutdown.

Wow factor from European tour

A group of emerging horticultural leaders who have recently returned from an executive study tour in Europe say it’s been eye opening, amazing and life changing in terms of their careers.

Featured

 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fat chance

OPINION: This old mutt has always believed that any hopes of a possible free trade deal – that is any…

Health & safety?

OPINION: WorkSafe and workplace safety legislation dominate the daily operations of the private sector, including farms.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Popular Reads

Honda to quit ATVs in Aus

Honda Australia has signalled it will stop selling quads/ATVs in that country as the discussion about the effectiveness of Crush…