Over the past year NZ Plant Producers has been working closely with Government and through our members to navigate our industry through the Covid-19 induced labour crisis.
All primary industries are suffering from the lack of workers, particularly skilled workers and our industry is no different. If anything we have avoided the worst effects that we have seen in sectors like horticulture and viticulture.
The Government has sent a strong signal to farmers and growers that open access to skilled staff from overseas is unlikely resume, even after the borders open. They have sent a strong message that industries need to do more to upskill and employ more New Zealanders.
So, what has NZ Plant Producers doing to help our industry through this.
- We are in constant contact with Immigration NZ, advocating and to ensure we have up to date information in immigration rules.
- Monitoring changing regulation and updating our members through our website and with phone calls.
- We are working on a long term plan to attract and develop workers into skilled roles.
- Preparing our members for the possibility that new processes may be required in order to employ overseas workers in the future.
Opening the borders over the next year or so will help to relieve the acute shortage of highly skilled workers but our industry will need to adapt. Investing in attracting the best in brightest into our industry has started and must continue. Training these workers to become the next generation of horticulturalists is our collective responsibility.