The Skilled Worker Initiative

Future Farmer Focus Group Programme 9 February 2017

Do you have on-farm experience and want to work or volunteer on an earthquake-affected farm in Marlborough, Kaikoura or the Hurunui?

Call now on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) to lodge requests for help on the farm, or to offer your help as a volunteer or worker.

1. Information for potential volunteers and skilled workers

Funding is available for specific workers to help in earthquake recovery. At the moment there is demand for:

  • Skilled fencers
  • General farm skills (milking, calving, weaning) 
  • Building skills (able to do minor repairs to farm building, internal house damage). 

What you can do now:

  • Call 0800 FARMING to register your skills and availability
  • Your skills are matched in the database to latest needs on the ground and teams are planned to go area by area
  • AgStaff manages interviews, contract, health and safety and privacy information
  • Volunteers via 0800 FARMING can get up to $100/week expenses reimbursed
  • The programme is expected to run until May 2017.

2. For affected farmers / growers in the area

Please log your requests for help now on 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646) – don’t wait until everyone else is fixed first!

  • The skilled worker programme is sending teams in area by area where possible and need to know what your requirements are to plan visits
  • Don’t wait until everyone else is fixed first! The team can get your work done when they have the right workers in the area
  • Registering through this number is free for you and the workers
  • Government has allocated funds to pay skilled workers and reimburse some volunteer expenses through this programme
  • The programme finishes May 2017 at the latest.

Note there is also demand for accommodation and workers.

Find out more from Rural Support Trust

The Primary Industries’ Earthquake Relief Fund

The $4 million Earthquake Relief Fund is for uninsurable infrastructure repairs in the Hurunui, Kaikoura and Marlborough districts affecting farmers and others in the primary sector. The deadline for applications has been extended to 31 March and there are workshops to help farmers / growers who want help applying for grants. Information on the workshops and fund is here and the application form is here

What is the skilled worker programme?
As part of the recovery support package for the primary sector to assist those affected by the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes, this is an initiative funded with $600,000 from the Government through the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Federated Farmers and Agriculture Employment Services. It will match, place and manage skilled and volunteer workers in primary industries requiring worker assistance for recovery activities after the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes.

Who can ask for it?
Primary producers located in the geographic area comprising the Hurunui, Kaikōura and Marlborough Districts. Primary producers includes those producing poultry, meat, wool, or dairy products; sharemilking; arable farming, horticulture, viticulture, forestry, market gardening; an orchard, herb or flower growing; apiculture; aquaculture and fishing (including pāua, crayfish, finfish).

How do I offer my labour, either as a volunteer or as a paid worker?
Call Federated Farmers on 0800 FARMING, which is the primary channel by which earthquake-affected farmers (both members and non-members of Federated Farmers) can place requests for assistance, and where businesses, volunteers, and skilled workers can lodge offers of support.

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