FOREWORDWe are very pleased to present the Primary Industries Skills LeadersWorking Group Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022.The food and fibre sectors are vital to New Zealand. They generate income, provideemployment, support communities and form part of our national identity. Today many The future demandsof the sectors are growing. a strong and agileBut the pace of change is accelerating and the future demands a strong and agile workforce readyworkforce ready to respond to new challenges and to take advantage of opportunities. to respond to newCollaboration is key. While much work is already being done by our individual sectors, the challenges and toSkills Leaders Working Group has drawn this all together in a cohesive skills action plan. take advantage ofWith input from across industry, government, and the education sector, the skills action opportunities.”plan represents a decisive step forward in the partnership between the food and fibresectors and government in embracing a dynamic future.The action plan is a living document and a first step in working together. While primarilyfocused on the agriculture and horticulture sectors, the potential for growth and apan-sector vision is real and our intention is for all sectors to be involved and receive thebenefits of these actions.We thank all of those who have contributed to the development of the food and fibre skillsaction plan. We look forward to continuing to work in genuine partnership to build anexemplary and sustainable food and fibre workforce. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022 1

INTRODUCTION The food and fibre sectors underpin We have a strong reputation for exporting high-quality New Zealand’s economy. Over 350,000 and sustainable food and fibre, but we must work hard to adapt if we’re to maintain that reputation in a fast- New Zealanders, or one in seven people, changing world, with an increasingly urban and ageing are employed in our sectors, and we population and changing attitudes towards work. In contribute over $46.4 billion in export future, there will be increasing demand for higher skills, revenue and account for 11% of different skills and specialist skills to take full advantage New Zealand’s GDP.1 of changing consumer demands, the emphasis on value-added products, advances in technology, specialised production and processing, and a greater focus on sustainability. Past and predicted June average employment in the food and fibre sectors by job count2 0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 120,000 140,000 160,000 Horticulture 2025Red meat and wool 2012 2002 Arable Dairy Seafood Forestry Support services Other primary 0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 120,000 140,000 160,000 1 These figures are for the year ended June 2019. Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries. economic-intelligence-unit/situation-and-Outlook-for-primary-industries/sopi-reports/ 2 MPI (2014). People Powered: Building capabilities to keep New Zealand’s primary industries internationally competitive. https://www.mpi. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022

The food and fibre sectors face significant challengesin meeting their workforce needs. We have an ageing This plan is intended toworkforce and increasing competition for replacement be a first step in workingemployees in the regions. Much work is seasonal,creating peaks and troughs in demand, which can be together to overcomea disincentive to people wanting more stable work food and fibre workforceopportunities. Attitudes to work are changing, making challengesit harder to attract young people to rurally based rolesthat involve manual labour. Recreational drug use also This action plan addresses common food and fibrepresents a barrier to people entering the industry. workforce challenges by complementing or building onSuccessful food and fibre sectors are vital to existing initiatives. It does not cover general workforceNew Zealand and the wellbeing of our communities, challenges faced across other sectors or general tradesparticularly in the regions. As we take steps to meet or professional services. We see the food and fibreour challenges and remain successful, we need a sectors as encompassing the primary sector productionresponsive and innovative workforce. We need to industries (other than mining) and the relatedinvest in our workforce to benefit both individuals processing industries.and their employers and all New Zealanders, through Actions initially focus on the agriculture and horticulturemore prosperous communities and improved industries, including meat and dairy processing, andenvironmental performance. do not cover the fishing or forestry sectors (forestry willThe food and fibre sectors and government have have its own action plan later this year) or other foodindividually done a lot to address workforce challenges processing industries. However, we recognise thatand take advantage of opportunities. This is a great close connections and shared challenges exist acrossstart, but we can do better together. By collaborating all food and fibre sectors.and developing a cohesive action plan, delivered under This plan is therefore a first step, and the start of astrong governance and accountability mechanisms, we pan-sector and government partnership that giveswill be able to tackle issues across the food and fibre us an ongoing mandate to work together to addressskills pipeline to meet current and emerging needs. challenges. Implementation and governanceRecognising this, the Ministry for Primary Industries arrangements will support the development of(MPI) convened the Skills Leaders Working Group (the a broader and more inclusive approach.Working Group) in February 2019 to develop an actionplan to co-ordinate the vast pool of resources andinitiatives across industry and government that aimto strengthen the food and fibre workforce. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022 3

THE WORKING GROUP The Skills Leaders Working Group was formed to develop an action plan for the agriculture and horticulture sectors. The Working Group is made up of a range of individuals representing the agriculture and horticulture sectors and is supported by officials from MPI. Working Group Members Ben Allomes Hopelands Dairies Miles Anderson Federated Farmers Jeremy Baker Beef + Lamb New Zealand Fiona Duncan Ministry for Primary Industries Michelle Glogau Primary Industry Capability Alliance (GrowingNZ) Paul Goldstone Meat Industry Association Chris Lewis Federated Farmers Chelsea Millar Grass Roots Media NZ Lynne Miller Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand representative Penny Nelson Ministry for Primary Industries (Chair) Mark Paine Primary Sector Council Erin Simpson New Zealand Apples & Pears Linda Sissons Primary ITO Geoff Taylor DairyNZ In developing this action plan, we heard from, and were supported by, a number of subject matter experts on the challenges and opportunities for attracting, educating and employing the workforce we need. We also drew on information from MPI, our sectors and our own experience. We would like to thank the schools, universities, farm boards, and other government departments including the Ministry of Education (MoE), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that shared their perspective of the food and fibre skills pipeline with us.4 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022

GOALS,OBJECTIVES &SUCCESS MEASURESThis action plan provides the basis for first steps towards a genuine partnership between the food andfibre sectors and government. Our goal is to shift behaviour, practice and system settings to achieve positiveoutcomes and enhance the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.This action plan aims to support the development of a workforce that can meet the current and future needs of the food and fibresectors by delivering on the following four focus areas: 1 KNOWLEDGE 2 ATTRACTION 3 EDUCATION 4 EMPLOYMENT Food and fibre Food and fibre People have the People thrive in food sectors understand education and skills, knowledge and fibre workplaces and can articulate employment and capabilities to with excellent their workforce opportunities are be successful in food conditions needs widely understood, and fibre careers respected and sought afterWe will know we have We will know we have We will know we have We will know we haveachieved our goal when: achieved our goal when: achieved our goal when: achieved our goal when:• there is a shared • a diverse range of people • the education system is • individuals are supported in understanding across all want to study and work in fit-for-purpose and meets the workforce, have great stakeholders of workforce the food and fibre sectors; the needs of the food and workplace conditions, and employment • employers easily fill fibre sectors; can easily move between trends, challenges and vacancies with quality, • individuals are supported to sectors and have access opportunities, and what skilled employees; and train and upskill at any stage to year round, seasonal we need to do to address of their career; and employment opportunities; them; and • there is strong public support for investment • new starters are work-ready • employers value and• interventions to improve in the food and fibre and engage quickly on the provide great workplace the capability and capacity workforce because it is a job, and employers are conditions, easily fill of our workforce are respected and attractive supported to value and vacancies, and retain underpinned by high- career choice. invest in upskilling their staff that are skilled and quality, accurate and up-to- workforce. engaged; and date information. • the workforce is prepared to respond to new challenges. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022 5

6 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022

THEOPPORTUNITIESThere are a lot of great initiatives happeningacross the food and fibre sectors. We need to worktogether to build on these initiatives and developthe capable and responsive workforce needed toincrease innovation, sustainability and productivity,be resilient to risks such as biosecurity threats, andtake advantage of opportunities associated withchanging consumer demands. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 7

Opportunity one: Generating accurate and consistent information on our skills and labour needs Many of our sectors have assessed their labour and Predicted capability needs by 2025 skill needs, providing us with insights on the current and emerging needs of the food and fibre workforce, especially the numbers of new workers needed. +49,900 For example: • the wool industry reported in 2019 that it needs 250 to 300 new entrants each year for the next three years; 156,500 +92,600 249,100 • New Zealand Apples & Pears calculated in 2018 that by 2030 the sector will need an additional 1,150 orchard, 1,200 post-harvest and 400 head office workers; • New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated found the industry was 1,200 staff short at the start of the 2018 harvest, especially in the low-medium 197,000 -42,700 154,300 skills area; • the Meat Industry Association found meat processors were more than 2,000 workers short for the 2018 season; and 2012 2025 • MPI’s 2014 research, Future capability needs for With qualifications the primary industries in New Zealand, found that No post-school qualifications there will likely be an increase in demand for highly skilled (degree or higher) workers, especially in the support services.3 We need up-to-date, accurate and consistent Each of our sectors assess their labour and skills needs information to better understand current and emerging differently, with some looking into the specific roles skills gaps and how best to address them. We also need they expect to grow, while others have looked at the to know if our interventions are working, which means capabilities needed in their sector more generally. having a coherent evaluation strategy, transparency in Much of the data held by government is not current or sharing our findings, and openness to learning from is incomplete – MPI’s 2014 ‘Future capability needs’ initiatives outside the food and fibre sectors, such report is now five years old. as the Attitude Gap Challenge4 and the Passport to Life initiative.5 3 MPI (2014). Future capability needs for the primary industries in New Zealand. capability-needs-for-the-primary-industries-in-new-zealand 4 The Attitude Gap Challenge. 5 Passport to Life. THE ATTITUDE GAP CHALLENGE, led by the Auckland Co-design Lab THE PASSPORT TO LIFE INITIATIVE, and sponsored by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and MBIE, launched by Te Puni Kōkiri in 2018, is is centred on understanding the reasons behind the lack of connection designed to act as a bridge for Māori between employers and young people in South Auckland. Anecdotally, youth from school or unemployment employers struggle to find local candidates with the right attitude; into further education, training and while young people find job applications and workplace culture an employment by helping them to get unfamiliar, foreign experience. The overall finding of this project was essential credentials such as birth that the challenge is much broader than attitude. It is a complex “clash certificates, driver’s licences, IRD of norms and expectation, which could be overcome through greater numbers and bank accounts. preparedness and proximity between different groups involved”.8 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022
Opportunity two:Changing perceptions to attract more people withthe right skills into food and fibre careers to support ahigh-quality, adaptable and innovative workforce Roles in the food and fibre sectors need to be seen as highly valued career options and have to be able to attract new entrants from a range of sources. More needs to be done to promote the food and fibre sectors as positive, appealing places to work, offering good work conditions, within industries that are committed to sustainable business practices and care about the environment. The impact of negative perceptions is especially evident in the urban population:6 Urban respondentsWould consider food and fibre businesses to be good employers Would seriously consider working in food and fibre Would recommend working in food and fibre 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Likely Not likely These views are sometimes the result of a lack of information or are caused by misinformation. Many young people and graduates are not aware of the range of career opportunities and pathways available. They don’t know that the industry needs people with a wide range of skills, such as those qualified in design, languages, engineering, communications and technology, and that job locations aren’t necessarily rural and isolated. There is a range of initiatives underway to promote food and fibre careers. By aligning, co-investing in and strengthening these initiatives, we will be able to improve their collective impact. 6 UMR (2017). New Zealanders’ views of the primary sector. documents/MPI_primary_sector_report_2018.pdf pages 97, 99. Raising awareness makes a difference. GrowingNZ’s campaigns at careers expos successfully raised awareness about career opportunities in the food and fibre sectors by 83% among visitors. They also lifted their attitudes to a career in the sector: 58% of the students were very or extremely likely to consider a career – up from the 22% baseline.” (PICA post-event surveys) Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 9
10 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022
Opportunity three:Celebrating the food and fibre sectors withstudents, teachers and New ZealandWe need the right education and training opportunities Tertiary providers, industry, employers and learnersto prepare a wide range of learners for the workforce. need to work togetherGraduates need to be skilled and flexible, with good Close engagement is needed to ensure training remainstechnical skills as well as the right aptitude and attitude relevant, innovation is supported, and policies andto work across sectors during their careers. It’s vital that funding are appropriate. Falling learner numbers inour school, tertiary education, and on-the-job training tertiary study are a challenge.8systems function as a cohesive pipeline that supportsstudents into and on the job. 2013Secondary schools are critical for the food andfibre workforce 67,362 learnersSince 2012 there has been an increase in studentsstudying agriculture and horticulture science andagribusiness at senior secondary school (from 5,468in 2012 to 10,152 in 20187). We need to build on this Number of learnersmomentum and ensure specialist subjects are offered studying agriculture and 2018 horticultureand taken up by students across New Zealand. We also 45,557need to support graduates of specialist agriculture, learnershorticulture or agribusiness subjects into teaching tobetter support students and other teachers. However,food and fibre skill needs extend beyond horticulture We have heard anecdotally that the tertiary system canand agriculture and agribusiness. We need better be too focused on young, full-time students undertakinglinkages between secondary school subjects and full-time qualifications, and that it is not flexible oremployment in our food and fibre sectors. responsive enough to support career changersWe need to combat the perception among some that and allow for incremental learning, shorter or fastervocational education is less desirable than other forms qualifications, or the recognition of skills gained outsideof higher education, such as university. the formal education system. The introduction of micro-credentials9 by NZQA in 2018 is a good start, but development and uptake need to be increased.7 Provided by the Horticulture & Agriculture Teachers Association of New Zealand.8 Tertiary Education Commission enrolment data 2013-2018.9 Micro-credentials are stand-alone education products intended to enable learners to access specific knowledge and skills in a cost-effective and time-efficient way. They focus on skill development opportunities not currently catered for in the tertiary education system, and for which there is strong evidence of need by industry, employers, iwi and community.Early Apprenticeship When Owen Clegg left Hawera High School at age 16 to go dairy farming, he promised his mum he would continue to study. His subsequent apprenticeship and industry training over the past decadeGrows into a through the Primary ITO have set him on the path to success and future farm ownership.Rewarding Career Owen’s apprenticeship took him two years to complete, and combined on-the-job learning withfor Owen Clegg weekly classroom lessons. Owen says an apprenticeship was the perfect introduction to dairy farming and has opened up many opportunities. “My apprenticeship is where I learnt the basics, so training is an important part of moving our industry forward, so we continue to grow and remain productive.” Owen and his partner, Hollie Wham (pictured left), won the 2018 Taranaki Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year title. Owen explains that his studies allowed him to gain “knowledge as well as practical skills”, giving him greater job opportunities. He says he wouldn’t be where he is today without it. “Everyone has a chance to be successful in their own career and life; with hard work and determination it is achievable.” Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 11
In July 2019, the Wool Industry, through the Primary ITO, launched three Level 2 wool industry micro-credentials, which were developed with industry input. They cover: introduction to the wool shed; shearing; and wool handling. These micro-credentials were developed to address the wool industry’s need for short and relevant qualifications that address specific training challenges, and provide people with formal, certified evidence of their skills.” Many people face additional barriers to entering We will need more high-skilled workers with education and employment pathways. We need more university-level qualifications emphasis on pre-employment, wrap-around support In 2015 MPI identified a need to increase skill levels and pastoral care for people who need extra support across the food and fibre sectors. This means that in education and the workplace, such as ensuring that we need: drug and alcohol services are accessible. • to increase enrolment in critical areas of university On-the-job learning is critical and needs to meet education for the food and fibre sectors (e.g., current and emerging needs Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Horticultural Science and Forestry Science); It’s critically important that employees can learn while they earn. Many of our sectors rely on on-the- • to increase the use of the food and fibre sectors job training provided by the employer rather than as learning examples across all areas of study at an education provider. In 2018, 21,683 employees university; and undertook courses towards national qualifications while • for university graduates of specialist and other working for 5,284 employers. Of these employees: subjects (such as IT, engineering and robotics) to be • 22% were Māori – well above the demographic encouraged into food and fibre career pathways. percentage in the population;10 and To achieve this, we need to engage with universities • 77% were studying at Level 3 and upwards. to understand what they are offering and how they are encouraging people into food and fibre careers. To ensure that on-the-job learning continues to meet current and emerging needs, we will be strongly involved in the Reform of Vocational Education. 10 Primary ITO. Annual Report 2018. Sam Lockwood-Geck – Mechatronics Innovation “I am a third-year student studying engineering and innovation management, minoring in Mechatronics. Being born and raised on both a dairy farm and kiwifruit orchard has made the primary industries very much a part of the family. It is these jobs which have highlighted the need for automation in these sectors and led me to pursue a degree in engineering.” “I am particularly interested in manufacturing strategy, vision-based control systems, and their use in automating modern- day enterprises. My most recent employment was at BBC Technologies – a producer of turnkey solutions for the small fruit industry, where I gained insight in ‘design for manufacture’, process control and quality control. In the future, I hope to work on the integration of supply chains and achieve a seamless flow of information between consumers and producers. I am currently planning a research project [looking at] different [international] models of entrepreneurial/innovation ecosystems to identify which would be best suited for Massey University and New Zealand to implement.”12 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022
Food and fibre workforce qualifications by gender Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies Architecture and Building Blended Creative Arts Education Engineering and Related Technologies Health Information Technology Management and Commerce Natural and Physical Sciences Society and CulturePhoto: Paul Sutherland Photography Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 13
Opportunity four: Creating great workplace conditions to attract and retain the talented employees we need long-term Great workplace conditions are necessary to attract, While there are pockets of great practice, many train and retain the workforce the food and fibre employers do not know what good looks like and sectors need. do not have immediate access to the support, and tools needed. They may find it difficult to fill positions Given the demographic challenges of an ageing because they are unaware of what attracts workers or population and increased urbanisation, along with how to implement good workplace practices. competition from other sectors, employers will have to go above and beyond minimum standards to build their workforce.11 Employment count by region and sector 2016 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 Northland Auckland Waikato Bay of Plenty Gisborne Taranaki Hawke’s Bay Red meat and wool Dairy Manawatu– Horticulture Wellington Marlborough Nelson Tasman West Coast Canterbury Otago Southland 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 11 MPI (2019). Human capability in the primary industries. programmes/future-skills/ PRIMARY INDUSTRIES GOOD EMPLOYER AWARDS – understanding that excellent employers are integral to attracting and retaining a skilled workforce in the food and fibre sectors has been recognised through the establishment of the Primary Industries Good Employer Awards. In late 2018 MPI and AGMARDT together celebrated the finalists and winners who have set the benchmark for others in our sectors.14 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022
Immigration is important to fill immediate gaps and provide the critical skills some sectorsneed. However, it’s important we balance this with a focus on employing and trainingNew Zealanders. When we don’t have this balance right, there is less time for, andinvestment in, supporting employees to upskill or retrain. This can increase workplacerisks, such as in health and safety, especially if workers are not properly trained.We also need to ensure that we are retaining workers across our sectors. Retention ratesin the food and fibre sectors are lower than the New Zealand average, with only 29%of workers still employed in the food and fibre sectors after three years, based on MPI’sanalysis of 2013 new entrants.12 Retention rates of new entrants60% 60% 56% Food and fibre50% 50% 48% New Zealand average 42%40% 40% 35% 34%30% 29% 30% If you care about20% After 1 YEAR After 2 YEARS After 3 YEARS 20% your staff and you treat them like you care about them andRecruitment is expensive, and labour shortages leave workplaces vulnerable to critical you actually do careissues, such as biosecurity threats or health and safety incidents, and deter employersfrom investing in measures that may improve innovation and productivity. about them, it makes a huge difference.”Improving workplace culture is more challenging than in other areas, such asenvironmental or technical productivity, as it requires employers to value and use soft (MPI Farmers Hui)skills, such as team work, communication, and adaptability. When employers associategood employment practices with good business practices, we are more likely to seeadvances in workplace culture and improving workplace conditions.12 Sourced from the Integrated Data Infrastructure, 2018. Ben and Nicky Allomes, of Hopelands Dairies, won the Innovative Employment Practices Award. Ben identified his lightbulb moment as a realisation that people, rather than cows, were the foundation of his operation. Ben makes his work appealing to his employees by “having [work] available in the hours that suit [the employees]”. Nicky adds, “I think the diversity and the range of personalities is what makes it really work for us.” Photo: Chris Williams Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 15
OPERATING ENVIRONMENT This action plan complements wider work already underway to support the food and fibre workforce. Many actions draw together and build on work already • the Forest Strategy and Forestry and Wood underway across government and the food and fibre Processing Workforce Action Plan being developed sectors to address workforce challenges in order to by an industry-government working group; form a cohesive and comprehensive action plan that has • the Provincial Growth Fund, including funding set strong governance and funding mechanisms. aside for regional employment, skills and capability The Government-led Reform of Vocational Education through Te Ara Mahi; (RoVE) aims to create a unified and sustainable system • the Sector Workforce Engagement Programme that meets the needs of all learners, employers and (SWEP), which helps employers get access to skilled communities. Included in the RoVE is the establishment regional staff; of Workforce Development Councils (WDC), which • the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) will give industry greater leadership across vocational fund administered by MPI to support innovative education, and Centres of Vocational Excellence projects in the food and fibre sectors; (CoVE), which will bring together experts to grow • the Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan excellence in the provision of vocational education. developed by DairyNZ and Federated Farmers Developing institutions that meet the needs of the food to assist dairy farming businesses to adopt good and fibre sectors has been identified as a priority by workplace practices; government and industry. • curriculum resources developed across industry and These changes have significant implications for a government for primary and secondary schools; number of the actions in this plan. As a consequence, • work undertaken to promote the food and fibre we are proposing a two-stage implementation process sectors in schools by New Zealand Young Farmers’ – with quick wins being progressed immediately, while national engagement team; a secondary tranche of actions is progressed once the role, function and funding arrangements for the • integrated farm planning and extension services that, proposed WDC and prototype CoVE are clarified. for example, aim to ease compliance and reporting, and help farmers respond to challenges; Other relevant work programmes across government • productive and sustainable land use where MPI and industry include: is looking at how it can better support Māori • advice provided to the TEC by its Industry Advisory land owners; Group on growing the food and fibre sectors; • social sector initiatives to support people into work; • MBIE’s proposal to establish 15 Regional Skills • immigration policy changes that aim to balance Leadership Groups across New Zealand; support for businesses to employ New Zealanders • secondary education reforms that include with ensuring access to migrant labour where developing clearer pathways to further education needed; and and employment; • Trades Academies and Gateway that support • the work of the Primary Sector Council to provide secondary students to undertake study and/or strategic advice to the Government on issues and work-based learning.13 opportunities for the food and fibre sectors; • work undertaken by the Primary Industry Capability Alliance (PICA) to co-ordinate attraction initiatives through its GrowingNZ brand; 13 Further information on related work programmes is included in Appendix One.16 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022
We recognise that this action plan will require stakeholders across the system, with their ownroles and responsibilities, to work together. These are outlined in the table below.Stakeholders Roles and responsibilitiesIndustry • Industry-community interface • Improving workplace conditions • Providing input into the RoVE implementation process • Articulating an attractive value proposition to future sector participants • Representing industry in: – defining current and future skill needs – design and implementation of future initiativesMinistry for Primary Industries • Overview of the industry, its structure, dynamics and skill needs • Input into RoVE and wider workforce development initiativesTertiary Education Commission • Funding vocational and wider tertiary education • Career initiatives, including primary school through to older learners • Managing the content of a careers hub to be a central point for job seekers • Innovation in qualifications and delivery methods – micro-credentials • Implementing the Industry Advisory Group’s Growing the Food and Fibres Sector recommendations for the TECMinistry of Education • Education policy (early childhood, schooling and tertiary), including the RoVE • Curriculum requirements • Funding settingsMinistry of Business, Innovation and • Immigration policyEmployment • Regional Skills Leadership Groups • Labour market policy development • Labour inspectorate Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022 17
THE SKILLS ACTION PLAN The action plan aims to support the development of a skilled workforce that meets the current and future needs of the food and fibre sectors.18 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022
KNOWLEDGE GROWING THE FOOD ATTRACTION EMPLOYMENT AND FIBRE WORKFORCE EDUCATIONThe actions have been developed under four focus areas that each addresses the key foodand fibre workforce challenges. These focus areas are, and seek to achieve, the following:• KNOWLEDGE: we will have the information and enabling systems required to develop, implement and evaluate food and fibre workforce initiatives.• ATTRACTION: we will strengthen support for initiatives that attract more people into food and fibre education, training and employment.• EDUCATION: we will help shape the education and training system to produce sufficient learners with the skills required to meet food and fibre workforce needs.• EMPLOYMENT: we will encourage improvements in workplace employment practices to attract, develop and retain a skilled and productive workforce.The plan’s actions have been structured into two stages:• Stage 1: ‘quick wins’ that have funding and are already underway or will commence shortly. Quick-wins are identified by a ; and• Stage 2: other actions that are dependent on, or related to, wider government policy changes, such as the RoVE and Regional Skills Leadership Groups. Once the role, function and funding arrangements for the proposed WDC, CoVE, the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology and the Regional Skills Leadership Groups are clarified it will be possible to progress the further development and implementation of these actions. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 19
FOOD & FIBREOUTCOME The food and fibre sectors have a skilled Food and fibre sectors Food and fibre education andMEDIUM-TERM understand and can articulate employment opportunities areOUTCOMES their workforce needs widely understood, respected and sought after 1 2FOCUS AREAS KNOWLEDGE ATTRACTION We will have the information We will strengthen support for and enabling systems required to initiatives that attract more people develop and evaluate food and fibre into food and fibre education, workforce development initiatives training and employment 1.1 Develop a pan-sector skills and 2.1 Support a pan-sector approach to employment dataset investment in, and evaluation and delivery of, attraction initiatives 1.2 Develop a workforce supply and demandACTIONS model and improve forecasting capability 2.2 Assess the impact and improve the alignment of industry curriculum resources 1.3 Commission research into the current state of degree-level tertiary education 2.3 Support teachers to improve their knowledge of the food and fibre sectors and 1.4 Undertake research on the benefits of great available careers workplace practices 2.4 Support the TEC’s food and fibre careers hub and Inspiring the Futures Programme 2.5 Develop a targeted marketing campaignGOVERNANCE Establishment Group • Food and Fibre Skills Photo: Paul Sutherland Photography 20 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022
SKILLS ACTION PLANworkforce that meets their current and future needs People have the skills, knowledge People thrive in food and capabilities to be successful in and fibre workplaces with food and fibre careers excellent conditions 3 4 EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT We will help shape the education and We will encourage improvements in training system to produce sufficient workplace employment practices that learners with the skills required to meet attract, develop and retain a skilled and food and fibre workforce needs productive workforce 3.1 Grow and support the specialist 4.1 Develop a workplace and employment teacher workforce resource hub 3.2 Support the design and establishment of a 4.2 Strengthen and scale up existing social and Workforce Development Council employment networks 3.3 Support the establishment of a prototype 4.3 Expand and promote programmes that Centre of Vocational Excellence upskill rural women and rural professionals 3.4 Support the development and delivery of 4.4 Encourage the adoption of excellent priority micro-credentials workplace practicesPartnership Group • Lead agencies for each action Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022 21
1 FOCUS AREA ONE:We need a clearerunderstanding of KNOWLEDGE Food and fibre sectors understandfuture workforce and can articulate their workforce needs to inform needs ongoing actions and identify We need more consistency across the food and fibre sectors in how we collect, track and share trends.” data on workplace needs. Better data is critical to informing the actions we should take. The information we have is fragmented, incomplete and difficult to access. We don’t know whether current programmes are meeting workforce needs; nor do we hold a shared understanding of the benefits of workplace and employment good practices, or the risks of poor practice. Our sectors are not homogeneous, so the information we collect needs to help direct improvements that work for every sector. Information also needs to meet the needs of government and education providers. By working together to collect and analyse data, we can increase our knowledge about what works, what doesn’t, and where resources should be directed. We will have the information and enabling systems required to develop and evaluate food and fibre workforce development initiatives We will support the development of a shared understanding of the food and fibre workforce and employment trends and issues by: 1.1 Developing a pan-sector and sector-specific skills and employment dataset. This dataset will be publicly accessible and updated over time, and will provide the sectors with data on education and training, workforce and employer profiles, workplace employment practices, and current and forecast skill needs. We will inform the development of attraction, education and training, and employment interventions by: 1.2 Developing a workforce supply and demand model, which enables scenario-based assessments of workforce supply and demand. This will include publishing periodic workforce reports that monitor trends and support implementation and evaluation of initiatives and programmes. 1.3 Commissioning research into the current state of university-based agriculture and horticulture education. This will include looking at the current courses available, their relevance to industry, and delivery models, as well as overseas models (for example, Wageningen), and identifying the right institutional arrangements required to have world-leading food and fibre university capability. We will ensure that research which enhances stakeholders’ understanding of great workplace practice is accessible by: 1.4 Undertaking research that identifies the benefits of great workplace practice at both industry and individual employer level and informs the development of initiatives designed to encourage the voluntary implementation of excellent workplace practices. 22 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022
2 FOCUS AREA TWO: ATTRACTION Food and fibre education and employment opportunities are widely understood, respected and sought afterThe food and fibre workforce needs to grow in size, capability and diversity. However,negative perceptions, poor information, and competition for workers make attracting theright people difficult.There is a range of initiatives underway to encourage people into food and fibre career;however, these are limited by fragmented delivery, market saturation, and insufficientinvestment. Promoting foodWe need to improve the collective impact of attraction initiatives by ensuring successful and fibre careeractions are well-supported and target acute skill shortages as well as long-term needs.This includes creating better connections between schools and our sectors and connecting pathways isto career changers. necessary to strengthen theWe will strengthen support for initiatives that attract more people into workforce andfood and fibre education, training and employment reduce skillWe will co-ordinate our attraction efforts by: shortages.”2.1 Supporting a pan-sector approach to investing in, evaluating and delivering attraction initiatives to achieve shared goals and extract the most value across the system. Successful initiatives will have sustainable funding and the resources required to grow.We will connect the education community to the food and fibre sectors by:2.2 Improving the alignment and effectiveness of school curriculum resources that the food and fibre sectors fund and develop, assessing whether current resources are effective at encouraging students into food and fibre careers with the aim of reducing duplication and cost, and delivering more effective material following the review of NCEA.2.3 Supporting teachers and career advisers to improve their knowledge of the food and fibre sectors and available career pathways to increase student participation in industry training and careers, including continuing to fund Teachers’ Day Out.We will connect people to food and fibre careers by:2.4 Supporting and promoting the TEC’s food and fibre careers hub as the main source of information to encourage more people into food and fibre training and education pathways, supporting the rollout of the Inspiring the Futures programme by growing the network of professionals who can showcase priority careers and promote the food and fibre sectors in schools.2.5 Co-investing in a targeted marketing and promotion campaign to create positive perceptions of careers in the food and fibre sectors, with a specific focus on roles where there are acute shortages or emerging need. Target audiences will include students participating in Gateway and Trades Academies and other youth-related programmes, as well as late primary, secondary school and tertiary students and career changers. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 23
3 FOCUS AREA THREE: EDUCATION People have the skills, knowledge and capabilities to be successful in food and fibre careers Our education and training system is not functioning as well as it could be to respond to industry needs to support a highly skilled and agile workforce. Education and upskilling of all types and at all levels are essential to building capacity and capability. Fit-for-purpose education will help ensure that employees in the food and fibre sectors have the necessary skills, understanding, and innovative capacity to foster sustainable productivity growth and respond to future challenges. We need to improve how the overall system functions by making it more responsive to industry needs and ensure people have access to quality education and training opportunities and support throughout their careers. A high-quality We will help shape the education and training system to produce sufficient learners with the skills required to meet food and fibre skills pipeline workforce needs is critical to strengthening We will support and grow the specialist teacher workforce by:the food and fibre 3.1 Encouraging agriculture and horticulture graduates into teaching, upskilling existing workforce and teachers in agriculture and horticulture subjects, and giving young people better access to subjects that lead them into higher education and employment in the food and preparing it for fibre sectors. future change.” We will ensure vocational education meets the needs of the food and fibre sectors by: 3.2 Supporting the establishment of a Workforce Development Council relevant to food and fibre, which will give industry greater control over all aspects of the vocational education system and make the system more responsive to employers’ needs and the changing world of work. 3.3 Supporting the establishment of a prototype Centre of Vocational Excellence for food and fibre, which will bring together key experts across industries, academia and communities to establish best practice provision, share high-quality programme design across the system and support good outcomes for learners and employers. 3.4 Continuing to develop and support the development and delivery of priority micro- credentials that meet pressing skills needs across the food and fibre workforce. 24 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022
4 FOCUS AREA FOUR: EMPLOYMENT Excellent and ever-improving People thrive in food and fibre workplaces with excellent conditions workplace conditions are necessary toFood and fibre career pathways are changing; there is now greater diversity in the opportunities attract and retainand pathways available. the workforce theEmployees are increasingly looking for a different work-life balance. People no longer choose food and fibrejobs on salary alone but are looking for more alignment between the objectives and culture of sectors need.”the business and their own values.Good employment practices are important, with direct benefits for businesses who attract andretain top talent by having great workplaces.We need to make our sectors more attractive and rewarding places to work and ensure thewellbeing of our people. We need to scale up promotion of best practice and innovativeworkplace conditions so we are better able to respond to the changing nature of work.We will encourage improvements in workplace employment practicesthat attract, develop and retain a skilled and productive workforceWe will improve workplace standards and support good practice by:4.1 Providing information, research and tools to employees and employers through a great workplace and employment resource hub that also links to relevant domestic and international workforce and skills data.4.2 Strengthening and scaling up existing social and employment support networks, giving employers and employees ready access to advice and support through an employer hotline for all food and fibre employers and through a support service for employees seeking guidance and legal advice.We will support rural women and rural professionals to improve workplace andmanagement practices by:4.3 Expanding and promoting programmes that upskill rural women in human resources, including on-boarding and pastoral care for employees, and ensuring rural professionals have management knowledge and expertise.We will drive culture change about the importance of good people management andworkplace practices by:4.4 Communicating examples of what great workplaces look like and implementing initiatives that will encourage voluntary adoption of excellent workplace practices such as promoting voluntary certification schemes and supporting industry recognition of excellent practices. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 25
GOVERNANCE Robust governance, management and funding The Establishment Group will be responsible for inviting arrangements are required to successfully key stakeholder organisations to be members of the Partnership Group, including: implement the action plan and ensure that food and fibre skills needs are met. • peak bodies across the agriculture, horticulture, forestry and wood processing, and seafood sectors; To achieve this, we propose establishing a Food and • employer and employee groups; Fibre Skills Partnership Group (the Partnership Group) to oversee the implementation, monitoring and evaluation • Māori leadership bodies; and of the action plan. • government agencies, such as MPI, TEC, MBIE, MoE and MSD. In the short term, an industry-led Establishment Group will be convened to take responsibility for engagement To ensure momentum is not lost, the Establishment across the food and fibre sectors, government and Group will be responsible for progressing this action Māori stakeholders to: plan until the Partnership Group is established and can • secure commitment to the action plan’s goals, actions assume responsibility. and proposed governance arrangements; and Over time, the Partnership Group may be an • develop a ‘charter’ setting out the Partnership umbrella group for technical working groups Group’s role, operating principles, governance and that focus on specific actions or related work organisational structure and the rights and obligations programmes, including: of government agencies and peak bodies that • the anticipated Forestry and Wood Processing choose to join the Group. Workforce Action Plan; • industry-led business case development; and • youth input into policy.Photo: Kieren Scott 26 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022
KEY IMPLEMENTATIONMILESTONESTo ensure an effective industry-led, government-enabled partnership achieves the skills actionplan’s goals, we have identified the following key implementation milestones:September January January January2019 2020 2021 2022 INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT GOVERNANCE Establishment Group formed Charter for Partnership Group developed EVALUATION Partnership Group established & REVIEW Process and outcome evaluation SCOPING & FUNDING commences Business case development Revise action plan Industry-government funding assessment Funding decisions Industry co-investment decisions DELIVERY Stage one initiatives underway Stage two initiatives underway Further stage two initiatives underwaySeptember January January January2019 2020 2021 2022 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019–2022 27
APPENDIX ONE: RELATED PROGRAMMES Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Industry Primary Sector Council (PSC): established in Advisory Group (IAG): the TEC identified the April 2018, the PSC provides strategic advice to food and fibre sectors as one of its key focus areas in the Government on issues and opportunities for 2017 and set up an IAG to provide it with advice on food and fibre. implementation of its Primary Sector Skills, Education Primary Industry Capability Alliance (PICA): and Investment Programme and to connect it with PICA is a collaborative alliance of industry, educators key stakeholders and influencers. Much of the and government that co-ordinates food and fibre advice provided by the IAG is incorporated into attraction initiatives through its GrowingNZ brand. this action plan. These include careers expos, Innovation Challenge Secondary education reforms: the NCEA Change Days, and engagement with educators and careers Package aims to make NCEA more robust, consistent, advisers. PICA also carries out research and facilitates inclusive and accessible for students. One key focus is the sharing of knowledge in capability building. on developing clearer pathways to further education Co-ordination with PICA forms a key part of the and employment. Another focus is on strengthening attraction actions in this action plan. literacy and numeracy requirements to better support Forest Strategy and Forestry and Wood students into education and work. Processing Workforce Action Plan: Te Uru Rākau is developing a Forest Strategy with stakeholders that will set the strategic direction for commercial and indigenous forestry and wood processing. An industry- government working group is developing an action plan to support the strategy. Provincial Growth Fund (PGF): the PGF aims to lift productivity in the provinces by, for example, enhancing economic development opportunities, creating sustainable jobs, enabling Māori to reach their full potential and building resilient communities. PGF funding has been set aside for regional employment, skills and capability through Te Ara Mahi. The PGF has partnered with Horticulture New Zealand to maximise the employment of New Zealanders and ensure sustainable growth in the sector by investing in six horticulture career co-ordinators across the country. Sector Workforce Engagement Programme (SWEP): SWEP helps employers to access reliable, appropriately skilled staff at the right time and place, while giving priority to domestic job seekers including beneficiaries. Dairy, horticulture and viticulture are sectors that SWEP supports. Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures): SFF Futures is an MPI-administered fund supporting innovative projects that will create value for the food and fibre industries. SFF Futures is a potential funding avenue for aspects of this action plan.28 Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022
The Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan: Social sector initiatives: there are a number ofdeveloped by DairyNZ and Federated Farmers to assist programmes, led by MSD, that support people intodairy farming businesses to adopt good workplace work, or to remain in work. For example, the Mana inmanagement practices. It describes what a quality work Mahi programme is designed to support young peopleenvironment looks like, and sets out the co-ordinated into apprenticeships and an industry training pathway.actions and commitments of the industry. Through the Since it was launched in 2018, over a quarter of Mana inWorkplace Action Plan, dairy farm businesses will be Mahi placements were into food and fibre to improve their ability to attract, motivate, develop Immigration policy changes: in late 2018 theand retain employees. Government consulted on proposed changes toCurriculum resources: a number of food and fibre employer-assisted temporary work visa settings. Thefocused primary and secondary school curriculum proposals are designed to strike a balance betweenresources have been developed to raise the profile providing more incentives and support for businessesof our sectors in schools. These include DairyNZ to employ New Zealanders, and ensuring access tocurriculum resources about the dairy sector; Red Meat migrant labour is available where there is a genuineProfit Partnership resources on a number of sectors; and need. Sector agreements make up part of the changesMPI’s Te Ao Tūroa resources on three key interrelated and will provide employers with greater certainty ofsystems: animal welfare, biosecurity and food. access to migrants in the short term, in exchange for a range of commitments, including increased productivityNew Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF): NZYF has a and wellbeing. The reforms ultimately aim to supportnational engagement team, mainly made up of former employers to place more New Zealanders into jobs, andteachers, who work in schools to promote opportunities as a result reduce their reliance on temporary migrantin the food and fibre sectors. NZYF also runs Teachers’ workers in the medium to long term.Day Out events and supports the uptake of the variouscurriculum and learning resources available to students. Trades Academies and Gateway: Trades Academies enable senior secondary students to undertake full-timeIntegrated farm planning and extension services: study that combines school, tertiary and/or work-MPI is working with industry to develop an integrated based learning. Gateway enables secondary schoolsfarm planning framework to ensure better co-ordination to arrange, manage and access structured work-basedbetween regulators, to ease the compliance and learning placements for students in Years 11 to 13.reporting requirements on farmers, to help farmersrespond to challenges, and to improve environmentaland economic outcomes and wellbeing. Whereappropriate, this action plan will adopt such existingmechanisms for engagement and delivery.Productive and Sustainable Land Use: MPI hasbeen looking at how we can better support Māoriland owners and Māori agribusinesses. This includesdesigning and delivering programmes that integrateagribusiness and cultural issues relevant to Māori,supporting Māori participation and retention in theextension services programme, and establishing a poolof experienced food and fibre sector advisers to deliverone-to-one technical advice to Māori agribusinesses incommonly identified areas of need. Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan 2019 –2022 29

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