DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle welcomes Government's announcement of plans to reform the vocational education sector to increase the responsiveness and accountability to industry.

"For some time, the dairy industry has been facing considerable challenges in meeting our workforce and skills needs. It's really important for the future of our industry that we are able to attract, train, and retain young kiwis with a passion for dairy," said Tim.

"A consistent message we are hearing from our farmers is that they are struggling to find staff with the right skills to get the job done. An effective vocational education system is critical to growing the skills we need at all levels of the business, be it owner or farm assistant.

"We believe that change is necessary to unlock the full potential of vocational learning in the dairy sector and today's announcement presents a unique opportunity to reshape the system.

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"That's why we have been working collaboratively with the Government and other primary sector organisations to identify solutions that will build capability and capacity in the sector.

"The structure and governance of the new Institute, the workforce development councils, and the Centres of Vocational Excellence must enable active partnering with industry bodies, such as DairyNZ.

"We will continue to engage constructively with the Government to ensure that the role out of vocational education reforms happens in a way that meets the needs of our dairy industry and gives our future farmers the skills they need to succeed," said Tim.