Careers in sheep and beef

Information for job seekers

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) invests in and supports growing, training and retaining people in our sector. We do this by collaborating with others to extend our reach and make a greater impact. Learn more about B+LNZ’s investment into growing people below.

Retaining and growing people

We support the continual upskilling of our farmers from growing their technical expertise through initiatives such as Generation Next to develop our sector’s future leaders.We support the continual upskilling of our farmers from growing their technical expertise through initiatives such as Generation Next to develop our sector’s future leaders.

Alongside our farmer extension programmes, B+LNZ also works with and supports Kellogg’s Rural Scholars and the AgriWomen’s Development Trust to promote the next generation of farming leaders.

B+LNZ Generation Next Programme

B+LNZ’s ‘Generation Next: Our Future’s Sheep & Beef Farmers’ programme is designed to nurture, assist and encourage the current and future farmers within our sector to take leadership roles.

The programme (which is currently only in the South Island) involves the delivery of three workshops over a six-month period. Attendees get to understand the farm business by learning financial and management basics, decision making skills, technology and genetics within the industry and much more. Learn more on B+LNZ’s website.

Leadership and Scholarship Programmes

B+LNZ work closely with scholarship-providing organisations, and support some scholarship programmes that feed into future sector leadership roles and develop young leaders. Some of these include the International Beef Alliance, Lambex Young Ambassadors, Kelloggs and Nuffield programme.

Growing awareness about careers in sheep and beef

B+LNZ works with others to create awareness about the careers in the sheep and beef industry.

Our focus is attracting students who are making career decisions, generally those in Years 12 and 13, and the people who influence their decisions like teachers and guidance counsellors.

Some of the ways we create awareness about careers in sheep and beef farming:

  • Careers Expo
  • Teachers Day Out
  • Food & Fibre Challenge
  • Supporting Agriculture in schools.

Careers Expos

You may not always see the B+LNZ logo at careers expos, but we’re sitting behind the scenes in working with GrowingNZ (also known as Primary Industry capability alliance or PICA) to get school students thinking about a future in sheep and beef farming.

PICA was established in 2014 to provide a collaborative and coordinated approach to building capability in the food & fibre sectors. As a member of the PICA, we provide them with information to share at careers expos in sheep and beef farming.

Teachers Day Out

B+LNZ works with New Zealand Young Farmers to provide ‘Teacher’s Day Out’ which is an opportunity to take teachers onto farms so they can see the opportunities available to their students while also providing teaching resources to make it easy for teachers to talk about farming in the classroom.

Food & Fibre Challenge

B+LNZ’s Food & Fibre Challenge is an interactive way of highlighting the many opportunities and careers within the primary sector to school leavers.

The first Food & Fibre challenge was at the 2020 Southern Field Days in Waimumu. Since then, it’s popped up across the country and has had over 600 students completed the challenge.

In an Amazing Race style format, the challenge has school students looking around for signs with different career labels. These careers included anything from an Agri-Manager to a Quarry Operator. Participants then filled out an answer sheet discovering the careers and information about the sector.

Olivia Ross, the Southern South Island Extension Manager saw an opportunity at the field days where there was a lot of businesses and school students coming in and walking through the grounds but with no real purpose.

The challenge gives these school students something to do while learning about the many careers in our industry and it gives businesses who sponsor the challenge an opportunity to connect with schools leavers too.

Olivia says, “It’s important for the next generation to know that there is more to the sector than just milking cows and moving sheep and that there is place for everyone to meet their skills and passions.”

Supporting St Paul’s College Agriculture programme

B+LNZ is a supporter of the St Paul’s College Agricultural programme, acting as a hub to build more agriculture courses in secondary schools across New Zealand and getting recognition from NZQA for agriculture as a valid secondary school subject with University Entrance status.

Training our people

In response to feedback from our farmers, B+LNZ is focusing on building people on-farm. Alongside our field days workshops and the many tools and resources we offer through our Knowledge Hub, we also work very closely with Primary ITO and support Cadet Training farms.

We work alongside Primary ITO to offer on the job training, providing people and businesses with better knowledge and skills to boost their careers.

Field days, workshops, and B+LNZ’s Knowledge Hub

B+LNZ’s extension programme includes many opportunities to learn on farm through field days and workshops. You can find events near you on our website, and filter by location or event type. B+LNZ’s Knowledge Hub has a wide variety of material from industry experts to help farmers get the information they need to make more informed decisions.

The Knowledge Hub has:

  • E-Learning modules
  • Videos
  • Podcast episodes
  • Factsheets
  • PDFs

Farmers can learn about a variety of topics through our Knowledge Hub. Topic’s include everything from lambing, to breeding, to winter grazing management and so much more.

Primary ITO

B+LNZ has a strong working relationship with Primary ITO to provide on job training and providing people and business’s with better knowledge and skills to boost their careers.

Free trades training

Primary ITO offer on-farm formal qualifications including apprenticeships; and as of 1 July 2020, the Government will cover training fees until 31 December 2022. Full details can be found on the Primary ITO website. To discuss your team’s capability needs, contact your local Primary ITO Training Adviser on 0800 20 80 20.

As an employer, you may also be able to take advantage of the Government’s “Apprenticeship Boost” which will pay up to a total of $16,000 across the first two years of an apprenticeship. For more information, visit the Apprenticeship Support Programme webpage.

Cadet Farms

B+LNZ continues to support cadet farms around the country and assist in the development of new cadet farms.

Growing Future Farmers (GFF) Essential Farm Skills Programme

B+LNZ has signed a funding agreement with Growing Future Farmers (GFF) for 2021. The agreement will give enrolled learners a boost of $500 each in 2021. GFF will also receive a cash injection of $25,000 towards running the programme.

GFF offers a range of specialised industry training and development opportunities across the country including formal NZQA qualifications.

Taking a leadership approach

Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan

B+LNZ have taken a leadership role in the last year in the Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019-2020, a Government and primary sector initiative that aims to fix the skills gaps facing farmers and growers. Jeremy Baker, B+LNZ’s Chief Insights Officer, is chairing the establishment group responsible for implementation of the Action Plan.

During this initial phase, B+LNZ focussed on the establishment of the Workforce Development Council and helped set up the new Centre of Vocational Excellence for the primary sector launched in 2021.

B+LNZ also continues our own initiatives to support on farm training and development for sheep and beef farmers.

Opportunity Grows Here campaign

B+LNZ worked with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to establish a sheep and beef recruiting webpage on the ‘Opportunity Grows Here’ campaign website to attract people that have lost their jobs into the Sector.

The campaign aims to advertise jobs and training within the primary industry to people who are looking for a career change. For more information, visit the Opportunity Grows Here website.