Coronavirus: The jobs that could boom in the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus: The jobs that could boom in the COVID-19 pandemic
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A recruiting and labour-hire specialist company says the need for workers has increased sharply since the COVID-19 coronavirus began spreading.

Agstaff, Canstaff and New Zealand Dairy Careers managing director Matt Jones is calling out to New Zealanders facing job losses to fill the "hundreds" of jobs it has in its system.

"The work does not stop - it's ramped up as some of our clients in the primary production sector increase production to meet New Zealand's needs. The cows still need [to be] milked and the crops must be picked," he says. 

On Wednesday, they had a client who needed more than 40 people to start immediately in south Canterbury because the local manufacturers are trying to meet local food production needs.

"Across the sectors we service, we have hundreds of vacancies, so we're calling out to all people who might be facing lay-offs as COVID-19 bites."

The kiwifruit industry is also putting out the call to workers affected by the disease, saying it will need more than 20,000 workers across the harvest and post-harvest period.

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated chief executive Nikki Johnson said the sector is expecting a harvest of around 155 million trays of kiwifruit this year.

The industry was extending a message out to those in the hospitality, tourism and forestry industries, or anyone who may not have sufficient work due to COVID-19, that there were plenty of jobs available in kiwifruit orchards and packhouses over the coming months.

Significant volumes of kiwifruit are expected to be harvested next week and demand will remain high well into April, while final picking takes place in June. 

"The gold kiwifruit are ready first and it's a very short turnaround to get that fruit off the vines and into the packhouses. Then the green variety will be ready and it's full-on until early winter," said Johnson. 

Johnson said the industry's biggest challenge was to find the seasonal labour required - and avoid a labour shortage.

Jobs as a delivery worker could also be in demand after Amazon announced a plan to hire a further 100,000 workers in the US to cope with the surge of online deliveries during the outbreak.

The hiring spree will hire people in the company's warehouse and across its delivery network.

There are currently nearly 470,000 Amazon employees in the US.