Young people will have the opportunity to explore career and education opportunities in New Zealand’s apple and pear industry.
New Zealand’s federal government announced a NZ$1.1m (US$700,000) provincial growth fund investment, to fund five regional coordinators dedicated to getting more New Zealanders into the horticulture industry.
Emma Boase, one of the five coordinators, visited Hawke’s Bay this week. She is working with New Zealand Apples & Pears (NZAPI) and Massey University to connect students with local exporters and growers.
Boase said she’s hoping to help young New Zealanders discover what’s on offer and how to go after it.
“I want to see young people like me seize these incredible opportunities, so we can reach their potential and be part of a growing and dynamic horticultural industry now and in the future,” she said.
Erin Simpson, capability development manager at NZAPI, said for the first time, the apple and pear industry has a complete education and career pathway offering an entry point for every level and role.
“The new regional coordinators will enable us to better connect into education providers, so we can share a far more positive story about horticulture to help us attract more growing young minds to our industry,” he said.
The programme was developed by the Horticulture Capability Group (HCG), a pan-industry initiative, in conjunction with the federal government.
It is hoped the initiative will allow young people to make the most of the growth in the industry by gaining permanent, better paying, skilled jobs with long-term career prospects.
“Our global success is creating hundreds of new and exciting career opportunities, with more than 2,300 jobs in the next 10 years in the apple industry alone,” said Simpson.
“But the greatest challenge has always been getting young people to see us as a great industry offering them a very bright and rewarding future.”