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

Opportunities aplenty in hort

Now is the time for you to set yourself up for a career in horticulture, explains Peter Kemp, Head of the Institute of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University.

Contractors back training initiatives

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.

Featured

Awards help winners’ fine tune

Newly-crowned Share Farmers of the Year Sarah and Aidan Stevenson are looking forward to their leadership roles over the next 12 months.

 

Living the dream on farm

DairyNZ board candidate Cole Groves says he is “living the dream” as a dairy farmer, milking just over 400 cows near Hinds in Mid-Canterbury.

National

Machinery & Products

New tractor fills the gap

Deutz Fahr has introduced the new 8280 TTV, which is aimed at filling the gap between its current 7 and…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Bully boys?

OPINION: This old mutt hears that there is some discontent in the wool sector at the tactics being used by the…

Tacky!

OPINION: Your canine crusader, like many in the rural sector, was deeply distressed to hear the tragic news that a…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter