Farms are short of staff in part due to COVID-19 border restrictions. The pandemic has also meant many people have lost their jobs, particularly in firms reliant on international tourism. The situation spurred Federated Farmers to think about what could be a circuit-breaker to persuade those out of work to consider a role in agriculture. With the Ministry of Social Development on board, we launched Farm Start.
Job seekers who sign up for a full-time dairy, sheep & beef or arable farm role with a Federated Farmers member receive a complete kit of work gear from New Zealand company Kaiwaka Clothing: rain jacket, beanie, socks, boots, overalls, thermals, oil skin vest…the lot, all free.
The Feds members who give these job seekers a start get one of our industry-leading employment contracts at no charge, to get what will hopefully become a long-term and satisfying employer/employee relationship underway on the right footing.
Farm Start has worked a treat. Young and old job seekers from
all sorts of backgrounds – IT, banking, long-term unemployed, professional sport, tourism, personal training, hospitality, even a former glow-worm caves tour host – are now out on the land helping to generate the quality foods and fibres New Zealand is famous for around the world.
Of the 300 initial kits of Kaiwaka clothing available, there are now less than 100 left. They won’t last long. Job seekers and employers keen to find out more should go to www.getkiwisonfarm.nz.