[10 October/ Rural News Group]

The dairy industry has launched a scheme to encourage young New Zealanders to consider farming careers. Created by Federated Farmers and the Primary ITO, with support from DairyNZ, iwi entities, dairy companies and others, the scheme will provide dairy farming apprenticeships to New Zealanders. The Scheme was designed to achieve better working conditions than many young trainees in the past and to provide structured training and mentoring leading to a good qualification and excellent prospects. A pilot programme launched online last week quickly attracted a lot of interest. Head of the Federated Farmers Dairy Section Chris Lewis, said the scheme would allow more kiwis to work in the industry. Mr Lewis added the scheme would also show the public that farmers are serious about treating staff well and this will aid them in retaining their social licence to farm.