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Food and Fibre hub goes live

Food and Fibre hub goes live

Last updated 29 October 2019
Last updated 29 October 2019

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has launched a food and fibre careers hub on its website to promote the diversity of career opportunities in our essential food and fibre sectors.

“Food and Fibre sectors drive our economy and help make New Zealand the world’s most liveable country. Over 350,000 New Zealanders, or one in seven people, are employed in the sectors.

“Future opportunities are significant and the future of work is changing. We hope the career information on our food and fibre careers hub will help bust some of the myths associated with career pathways in the sectors so more people consider working in food and fibre fields”, says TEC Chief Executive Tim Fowler.

The hub contains a variety of information about the food and fibre sectors, outlining skills needed for food and fibre careers, the variety of jobs available across the sectors, a focus on sustainability-related careers and a sector spotlight which will showcase different food and fibre sectors every month. 

According to the ‘Growing the food and fibre sectors’ report created by the Industry Advisory Group (IAG), over the last five years the number of school leavers first enrolling into an agriculture, environmental or related studies qualifications has decreased from five percent of leavers to three percent. In some cases a misrepresented image and poor perception of the sectors has limited people’s career choices and impacted on the attractiveness of the sectors.

The food and fibres value chain is central to almost every aspect of our lives: from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. It’s essential that we understand the importance of these sectors and the positive impact New Zealanders can make, and the meaningful careers they can build, by working in food and fibre fields.

“Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) stated in its People Powered report that 50,000 new workers are needed to double the value of exports by 2025 and many of these will need to have a degree qualification. What this does mean is lots of career opportunities coming over the next few years.” says TEC Chief Executive Tim Fowler.

“We’re working with the food and fibre sectors to drive change, including key partner, Primary Industries Capability Alliance (PICA). PICA is a collaborative alliance of industry, educators and government that coordinates food and fibre attraction initiatives through its GrowingNZ brand. In November last year we signed an MOU with GrowingNZ to strengthen our existing relationship and formalise expectations to collaborate more.

We’re also working very closely with Ministry for Primary Industries on their Food and Fibre Skills Action Plan – a partnership between government and industry working together to overcome food and fibre workforce challenges. The careers hub is a key initiative out of this Action Plan.

In 2018, the TEC invested $100 million in food and fibre-related education and training.

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