The value of New Zealand's primary sector exports is
predicted to double, on average, by 2025, with a further
33,000 jobs (to 403,000) generated in the sector by then.
The Ministry of Primary Industries released its Future
Capability Needs for Primary Industries in New Zealand report
earlier this month, which made predictions for the numbers of
people needed to fill those jobs in forestry, sheep and red
meat, fishing, arable, dairy, horticulture, dairy and
associated support services as well as identifying an
increased demand for formal tertiary qualifications.
The report said consumer demands were evolving and changing
and there was a need to maintain and add value to products.
There would also be an increasing use of automation and
In addition, production units would become more specialised,
sophisticated and larger, and there would be a growing demand
for support services.
The report said that in 2012 about 44% of primary sector
workers had a formal post-school qualification but by 2025
that figure was predicted to rise to 62%.
That is good news for tertiary institutions such as Lincoln
University (of which Telford, is a division).
The biggest growth area was expected to be in the support
services - a predicted 34% - which included science and
research, management, marketing and sales, rural consultants,
and other specialists.
The dairy industry would require a net increase of 2300 new
workers by 2025, while the arable sector would require 4700
in the same time frame.
DairyNZ chairman John Luxton said the dairy industry was
working to ensure there were good career opportunities in the
dairy industry as well as quality education and training.
''One of the many issues of the wider agricultural sector was
the failure to maintain its mainstream appeal,'' Mr Luxton
''We've really got to turn that around.''
Red meat and wool jobs are predicted to drop by 6500 but
there was an increasing demand of 11,400 for those with
formal qualifications in the same sector.
A net increase of about 7800 workers would be needed in
horticulture while wood processing would see a 4300 increase.
Horticulture New Zealand senior business manager Sue
Pickering said the horticulture industry's growth target was
$10 billion by 2020 and that growth needed to be underpinned
by a highly skilled workforce - the right number of workers
with the right capabilities.
''If our businesses are to thrive and retain our competitive
edge, we need people with a wider range of skills who can
handle the complexity of growing, managing businesses and
working with discerning and rapidly changing markets.
''The fact that in 2012, only 40% of the horticulture
workforce has a formal post-school qualification and that by
2025 this will need to be 66% puts in very clear terms the
challenge and the opportunity our industry faces.''
Pipfruit New Zealand and other horticulture groups have
initiatives to attract more people to the industry and HortNZ
is planning an industry-wide summit with key education and
training stakeholders to develop a collaborative strategy to
recruiting people into horticulture.
The other primary industry bodies also all have education
programmes to encourage more people to enter the industries.
Lincoln University assistant vice-chancellor Jeremy Baker
said much of the increase would come from a big shift across
the value chain, from production sectors to support services,
such as sales and marketing.
He said Lincoln University was well placed to meet the
''Telford's latest enrolments for this year have been really
fantastic and we have almost more students than we can handle