The Milk Harvesting Level 3 students down at AGC Training in Whanganui are pretty pumped by the latest employment statistics in the industry,
Last month alone a rough, unscientific count on just two social network sites related to dairying, including Fonterra, revealed around 450 jobs were advertised, and that could just be the tip of the iceberg.
Many placements within the agricultural industry, including dairying, come through word of mouth rather than applicants responding to published advertisements,
That would suggest a far larger number of jobs are going begging out in the country's dairying communities.
The latest Covid-19 movement restrictions may play a small part in the large number of jobs available, although it has been long known there is a shortage of skilled workers in the industry.
The current group of 14 students three weeks into the 22-week Milk Harvesting L3 course at AGC Training are eagerly awaiting graduation with such a bright employment outlook.
Most are city raised with an attraction to the outdoor lifestyle farming provides.
Consensus among the current intake is that the attraction of enrolling lay with the variety of options available to graduates.
"There is the chance to become a relief milker, allowing us to take other employment given the hours milking is done (early morning and late afternoon)," they said.
"There is also the opportunity to work as a full time on-farm assistant covering all facets of dairy farming, not just milking."
Mature student Arthur Loibl said the chance to upskill and change career direction was the major attraction for him.
"Earlier I trained as a butcher working in many facets of that industry and then owned a courier business for a few years," Loibl said.
"That was up to 65 hours a week, with quite demanding responsibilities. My partner was offered a teaching job down here in Whanganui, so that gave me the opportunity to change career and upskill with an option to work far less hours if I was able to, say, take up relief milking.
"Graduating from courses like these also gives you an edge over those without qualifications applying for the same job."
There is also the option for workers already in employment within the industry to upskill through the course part-time, or online with help from AGC Training field officer visits.