Field day to give insight into rural work

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) is to hold its second field day on September 17 at Brian Hughes' yard at Waimatua, near Invercargill, from 10am to 3pm.

RCNZ vice-president and contractor David Kean, of Centre Bush, said the field day, held in association with Work and Income, encouraged people to find out what it was like working in the agricultural contracting sector.

''People can drift in and drift out again throughout the day,'' Mr Kean said.

Those attending the field day would have the opportunity to drive large tractors and operate an assortment of machinery under supervision.

Representatives from HazardCo and Drivetech would be on hand to discuss the industry's health and safety and driver licensing requirements.

Participants would also learn about working conditions, including the sometimes long hours and working in the country.

''That included the need to feed yourself [properly] - cooking tea and making a lunch for the next day, as often there are no shops just around the corner - and it is important they bring a good lunch with them,'' he said.

RCNZ contractors held a similar day in August last year, when they expected about 20 or 30 people to attend and were overwhelmed when nearly 120 turned up, many of whom were keen to find work.

There are usually about 300 seasonal jobs available in Otago and Southland from late September-early October and it can be a struggle to attract enough workers to fill those vacancies for the three to six-month period when the sector is at its busiest. Mr Kean said they chose to hold the field day a month later this year because contractors then had more of an idea of how many workers they wanted, and the jobs would be available shortly.

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