Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) understands that the future success of our industry relies on attracting talented and motivated young people and equipping them with the skills to be successful.
Therefore B+LNZ is continuously increasing its support for sector capability and training behind the farm gate by collaborating with Government and industry partners.
“Farmers told us that they wanted us to focus on initiatives that would build capability behind the farm gate and B+LNZ is implementing that approach,” says Jeremy Baker, B+LNZ’s Chief Insight Officer.
Supporting agriculture in schools
B+LNZ is supporting agriculture in schools in many ways.
Jeremy says, “Currently, we’re focused on 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.”
“One way we’re doing this is through our work with 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.”
B+LNZ is also a strong 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.
In working with GrowingNZ, B+LNZ participates in a number of initiatives to get school students thinking about a future in sheep and beef farming. Some work includes career expos, the Primary Industry Capability Alliance (PICA) Innovation Challenge and more.
“For school leavers, B+LNZ will continue to support cadet farms around the country and assist in the development of new cadet farms. This is an area we hope to see grow,” says Jeremy.
Meat Your Career Camps for Students
Agri-career camps are underway across Aotearoa as students learn about the variety of roles in the agriculture sector.
The three-day camps run by New Zealand Young Farmers and supported by B+LNZ and the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) are aimed at inspiring Young Farmers TeenAg members and Ag learning students who already have some farming knowledge to pursue careers in the food and fibre sector. Learn more about the Meat Your Career Camps.
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.
“Through our involvement in the Skills Leaders Working Group, we, have taken a leadership role on reforming the approach to primary sector skills and training,” says Jeremy, who is chairing the establishment group responsible for implementation of the Action Plan.
During this initial phase, B+LNZ will be focussed on the establishment of the Workforce Development Council, helping to set up a new Centre of Vocational Excellence for the primary sector, and continuing our own initiatives to support on farm training and development for sheep and beef farmers.
Opportunity Grows Here campaign
In light of COVID-19, B+LNZ has 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, view the Opportunity Grows Here website.
Leadership and Scholarship Programmes
B+LNZ work with training institutions in the rural sector, including cadet farms, polytechnics, universities, and many other agricultural training institutions.
We 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.
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.
Free Trades Training with Primary ITO
B+LNZ works closely with Primary ITO within the sector capability and training space.
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.
More collaboration across the sector
Alongside our farmer extension programmes, B+LNZ works with and supports Kellogg’s Rural Scholars and the AgriWomen’s Development Trust to promote the next generation of farming leaders.