Kiwifruit industry offers more free training

For New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated

A new NZKGI-led, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) funded initiative is about to kick off to give people an insight into working on a kiwifruit orchard.

The initiative has its sights on encouraging job-seekers to take up employment in the kiwifruit industry, and providing the necessary training. It follows NZKGI’s successful winter pruning training programmes earlier this year.

MPI is investing $130,000 in the initiative. 

NZKGI Education Coordinator Di Holloway says the kiwifruit industry needs a workforce of more than 17,000 people in November.

“This initiative provides a great opportunity for New Zealanders, with free training and assistance to find jobs,” says Ms Holloway.

“We’re offering potential employees the opportunity to see if summer work on orchards is something for them, and offer further training to those interested.

“This opportunity may be of interest to those who have recently lost their jobs due to COVID-19, or those seeking a career change.

“Feedback from participants in the winter pruning courses was overwhelmingly positive and most went on to secure jobs in the industry.”

A one-day taster course will give job-seekers an insight into the nature of kiwifruit orchard work, which can be physically demanding.

“We hope that a large proportion of the people who undertake the one-day training will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of different jobs on offer,” says Ms Holloway.

“The one-day course will offer both the theory and practical aspects of summer canopy management. The first part of the day is in a classroom, followed by a practical demonstration on an orchard.

Following the one-day taster, a two-day training course will be offered to those interested in pursuing the opportunity more.

“The two-day training will equip participants with the competencies required for the jobs on kiwifruit orchards all the way through to harvest in autumn,” says Ms Holloway.

MPI Director Investment, Skills and Performance Cheyne Gillooly says this initiative is a great way for people to get a taste of working in the kiwifruit industry.

“Working in the kiwifruit industry can be hugely rewarding,” says Mr Gillooly. “We see enormous value in these types of initiatives in both introducing job-seekers to careers that they might not have considered, or might have considered and want to learn more.

“It’s a really exciting time to get into a job in the food and fibres sector and there are a range of opportunities on offer, many of which are available on the Opportunity Grows Here website.  Our food and fibres sector continues to play a huge role in New Zealand’s recovery from COVID-19.”

The courses are managed by NZKGI and funded by MPI. The first course will begin in mid-October. New Zealand citizens or permanent residents interested in participating can register by completing the form here.

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