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Inaugural rural retrain course sees 19 career changers into employment

Our inaugural 13 day rural retrain programme wrapped up on 7 August with 25 career changers graduated and ready for work. The course covered all aspects of farming from fencing and chainsaws, stock management and budgeting, through to calf rearing and animal health.

Designed to fast track people into jobs in the rural sector, we’re proud to see our graduates already entering full-time employment. Thanks to our partners at Agstaff and New Zealand Dairy Careers, we have 19 candidates in full-time employment and we’re working on opportunities for the rest of the group to be placed into new careers within the rural sector.

With many losing their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this course has provided people with the opportunity to retrain in the primary industries. One thing all of our career changers had in common was their transferable skills. We had a seismic oil vessel Captain, a hairdresser, ex-police officer, a cafe owner, and even a roller coaster operator. All of whom transitioned seamlessly into farm life.

Our graduates couldn’t come at a better time for the industry, with many farmers feeling the hit of the restrictions on our borders. Skilled migrant workers play a vital role in our industry, not just as harvesters but as highly skilled machine operators and herd managers. Changes to the current immigration system, based on skill-band, will also see an increase to the wage bills of farmers employing migrant workers, so locally trained people will be a welcome addition to the primary industries.

Agri Training is currently underway with our second online introductory taster course which will see another group of career changers chosen to complete the 13 day rural retrain programme in late September. We look forward to getting more people into training and ultimately more people working in our primary industries.