New Zealand needs more apple and pear pickers

  • 24/09/2016
Apple picking (Getty file)
Apple picking (Getty file)

New Zealand's apple and pear industry is telling young people they can go places if they join it.

The industry is promoting itself as offering a career path with lots of job opportunities.

It expects to be a billion-dollar export business by 2020, meaning production will increase by 30 percent in five years and 4000 permanent and seasonal jobs will be created.

The industry is developing an interactive tool to identify and track new and different jobs when they come on stream and their value, along with the qualifications, skills and experience required to match them.

The tool will provide a pathway for people looking to join the industry.

"Enter our industry and you can go places - that's the message we want to send out to encourage, inspire and see more people succeed," says Bruce Beaton, a Pipfruit NZ director.

To achieve the expected potential the industry must help attract and develop a skilled labour force and grow capability and skills both within the current, and future workforce, says Mr Beaton.

Director Cameron Taylor said it was critical to engage and find new ways to encourage "young minds" to start thinking about the wide range of jobs on offer to climb the career ladder.

Mr Taylor said a great example of the collaboration was how the industry had now forged stronger working relationships with the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"This is a real strength to our bow as we continue to improve market access and fiercely protect our borders from the risk of pests and disease, which could destroy our entire industry overnight."