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Primary Sector Future Capability Report Released

09 June 2014

NEW ZEALAND - It is important to have an understanding of the sector’s workforce requirements, to be well placed to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead, according to Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

The Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, last week launched the ‘Future capability needs for primary industries in New Zealand’ report that forecasts the future workforce needs of the primary industries.

The report says that for red meat and wool, the challenge will be in training and retaining people with market and product-oriented skills as well as cultural and language capabilities. This is because over 90 per cent of the sheepmeat and beef produced in New Zealand is exported to overseas markets.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Dr Scott Champion, says the report confirms the need for skilled and innovative farm managers who have willingness to adopt new technologies.

“This is an area the Red Meat Sector Strategy identified. Support in this area features strongly in B+LNZ’s national programme of extension events and is a key reason for our investment alongside key processors and banks through the Red Meat Profit Partnership.”

“The report notes we’ll also need to access better business management skills for the supply chain, including skilled people with food safety knowledge and the ability to innovate.

“We know that maintaining our excellent food safety record is going to be critical to operating successfully in valuable export markets.”

The report acknowledges for the red meat and wool sector, on-farm employment has declined as the dairy sector has expanded.

“Export volumes have changed little though as we have seen productivity increases from higher lambing percentages and heavier lambs offsetting declining ewe numbers.”

Dr Champion says Beef + Lamb New Zealand realises young people need to see a sector that they want to be part of – one that is positive, forward thinking, and has exciting career prospects.

To support this, Beef + Lamb New Zealand has teamed up with Young Farmers and DairyNZ to create a one-stop career hub to showcase opportunities in the agricultural sector.

“This is the ‘Get Ahead’ programme which promotes a diverse range of rewarding jobs across the farming sector.”

TheMeatSite News Desk

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