Col­lab­o­rat­ing for growth – now and into the fu­ture

We need our hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try, along with all pri­mary in­dus­tries, to grow so New Zealand can grow. For Pri­mary ITO it starts here, now, grow­ing smart, tech savvy, am­bi­tious and in­no­va­tive peo­ple.

The Orchardist - - Futre Focus - By Kate Long­man

The govern­ment has set an am­bi­tious tar­get for the pri­mary in­dus­tries – dou­bling the value of our pri­mary sec­tor ex­ports by 2025. In or­der to achieve this, the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) have es­ti­mated that we will need an ex­tra 50,000 qual­i­fied work­ers in the pri­mary sec­tor in the next eight years.

Em­ploy­ment growth fore­casts in­di­cate that there will be small-to-mod­est growth in the tra­di­tional jobs in the pri­mary sec­tor. This means that much of the fore­cast growth will need to come from highly qual­i­fied pro­fes­sional ser­vices – in­clud­ing sci­ence, en­gi­neer­ing, tech­nol­ogy and man­age­ment.

So, whilst the 50,000 fig­ure al­lows for at­tri­tion of ex­it­ing work­ers - plus up­skilling 42,700 ex­ist­ing work­ers (who do not hold a post-school qual­i­fi­ca­tion) – it will also re­quire in­creas­ing the up­take of qual­i­fi­ca­tions, par­tic­u­larly ap­pren­tice­ships at Level 4 and above.

I joined Pri­mary ITO in May 2017 as a na­tional sec­tor man­ager to bring fo­cus to sup­port­ing the re­cruit­ment and train­ing needs of the hor­ti­cul­ture and viti­cul­ture sec­tors now, and into the fu­ture.

One of my first pri­or­i­ties has been to de­velop spe­cific tools for each group within the sec­tor. In the first in­stance this will mean work­ing with our in­dus­try part­ner­ship groups and sec­tor busi­nesses to de­velop ca­reer pro­gres­sion path­ways. Th­ese path­ways will pro­vide clear and con­sis­tent role ex­pec­ta­tions for em­ploy­ers and po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees in the main in­dus­try roles.

Each ca­reer pro­gres­sion path­way de­scribes the ex­pe­ri­ence, level of su­per­vi­sion, skills, knowl­edge and at­tributes ex­pected in the key ar­eas of the busi­ness - along with op­por­tu­ni­ties for Pri­mary ITO train­ing in each role. The goal is to have th­ese de­vel­oped into posters for use at school ca­reers events, on the walls of ca­reer guid­ance of­fices and used as the ba­sis for grow­ing busi­nesses to map their staff against spe­cific train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

We are also work­ing to build a port­fo­lio of suc­cess sto­ries from em­ploy­ers and trainees, high­light­ing the im­pact that Pri­mary ITO train­ing has had on their busi­ness and on the in­di­vid­u­als ca­reer de­vel­op­ment. Once fi­nalised, th­ese could be used within the re­cruit­ment process by both em­ploy­ers and in­dus­try groups.

In the near fu­ture, Pri­mary ITO will also be hold­ing work­shops in the key hor­ti­cul­ture grow­ing re­gions of North­land and South Auck­land/ Waikato to fol­low-up with grow­ers on their views ex­pressed at re­cent in­dus­try con­fer­ences. The work­shops will work with em­ploy­ers to put plans in place to lever­age off ex­ist­ing ini­tia­tives to face chal­lenges around staff at­trac­tion, re­ten­tion and train­ing. If you would like to be in­volved in th­ese work­shops, please con­tact me on kate.long­man@pri­ma­ry­ito. or 029 770 9874. Pri­mary ITO is com­mit­ted to work­ing to­gether with in­dus­try to at­tract new tal­ent, and help­ing them to de­velop the skills they need for both in­di­vid­ual and busi­ness suc­cess.

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