Monday, 16 March 2020 08:26

Hort jobs going abegging

Written by  Peter Burke
Peter Kemp. Peter Kemp.

Why aren't young people seeking careers in horticulture?

“It is beyond odd to me why young people are not seeking a career in horticulture," says Professor Peter Kemp, Head of the School of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University. 

He says Massey is doing everything it can to attract students – including having a presence at major field days and making school visits and staging open days.

But Kemp says the numbers of students applying for jobs in the sector is still below the demand from industry, which is desperately looking for qualified staff.

“There has been the major growth in the horticulture industry in NZ over the last five to ten years – especially with apples, kiwifruit, grapes and avocados,” Kemp told Hort News. 

“These are all booming industries with jobs for people that can not only manage the orchards, but for a range of professionals giving advice on running irrigation systems, working in the packing, sorting and marketing side. Then there is all that international stuff around marketing and logistics.” he 

Kemp says there is a job for everyone across the board in horticulture. He adds it’s not only the jobs, but the industry is also a very pleasant one to work in.

“It’s a real struggle to see why people aren’t flocking to a place where there are lots of jobs and shortage of people.” 

Kemp says Massey has tried to analyse why there is a lack of response to the opportunities. 

He believes it comes down to a lack of understanding by school children – and often teachers – about the type of careers available in horticulture. He says most just don’t seem to understand it.

“They just see the apples in the supermarket, but they don’t understand that while it starts with just picking that apples, beyond that it is a very sophisticated business with endless career opportunities,” he says.

More like this

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.

Attracting more ag students

The numbers of students taking up agricultural degrees at Massey University is not really increasing, according to Professor Peter Kemp – head of the School of Agriculture and Environment at Massey.

Demand for better water quality grows

Public attitudes on environmental issues are driving policy, according to the director of the Farmed Landscapes Research Centre (FLRC) at Massey University.

Pork industry scholarships available

Massey University students looking to fund their studies in the pork industry have until March 10 to apply for up to four New Zealand Pork Industry Board scholarships.

Featured

 

Tough time on farm for many

Under pressure from drought and COVID-19, Woodville dairy farmer Ben Allomes says: ‘we can’t shut our doors and just walk away’.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Deafening silence

Your old mate reckons it’s incredible how people’s attitudes have changed since the COVID-19 crisis hit us.

Celibate times

A mate of the Hound’s reckons the COVID lockdown must be getting serious when we are being told not to…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Popular Reads

Rules driving farmers out

New farming rules around sustainability are driving elderly farmers out of the dairy industry, says agri-economist Phil Journeaux.