More people need to be encouraged to train for a career in sheep and beef farming, writes Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay provincial president Jim Galloway.
More needs to be done to get people into training - especially the sheep and beef industry.
I am concerned about the educational options available for the future of the country's agriculture movers and shakers as the fallout from the closure of the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre continues.
I am informed though that Hawke's Bay's Eastern Institute of Technology will keep the agriculture programmes that it had partnered with Taratahi to deliver, going.
Read more from Federated Farmers here.
So locally we should be able to keep a steady supply of training.
Tararua and Wairarapa though are in major difficulties as a large portion of training is from Taratahi and no replacement provider has been sorted.
This whole thing has thrown a spotlight on sheep and beef.
The proportion of sheep and beef farm workers that are in off-farm training seems to be quite low. That is a real shame and something needs to be done.
We need to figure out a way to get more people inspired about upskilling and ways to encourage employers to send their staff off to training courses.
There's a lot to be said for training on the job, but we also need our employees to network and upskill academically. This is about future-proofing our industry and making sure everyone can advance and is prepared for the never-ending changes coming.
Often schools are blamed for not making industries appealing for school leavers, but really that is a red herring.
Schools are not in the business of advertising – they are there to give students the basics.
Industries and training institutions need to be louder about the opportunities, benefits and meaningful qualifications they create and offer.
A career in farming is amazing.
It's one of the few industries where you can start at the bottom and get to the top based on skill and work ethic.
You don't have to brown nose your way up the corporate ladder - it's all up to you.
You can reap rewards and after a few years, and if the weather plays ball, you can achieve financial security and a great lifestyle.
What other industry in New Zealand can claim that?