Education is never wasted and it’s never been cheaper.

And it seems its time has come – the perfect storm of Covid-19, the migrant workforce being shut out and loss of jobs in other sectors has awoken young people to the need and availability of training, and it’s an exciting time for the sector with a huge uptick in training.

The Apprenticeship Boost programme subsidises employers for taking on apprentices actively training – to the tune of $16,000 per apprentice, over 20 months. That’s a no-brainer if you are taking on a new worker – sign them up for a fees-free apprenticeship and gain the wage subsidy and an engaged and learning employee at the same time.

Floyd Fenn is a focused young man on his way to the top of the heap – he has a plan of his life goals and is undertaking the training on and off the farm to get himself there (p39).

(He was also a good sport about lying on top of the silage heap so we could grab our arty cover shot!) Thanks Floyd.

Training and recruitment company NZ Dairy Careers in Canterbury have seen a huge upswing in trainees with more than 1000 people registering their interest in a rural retraining programme and many having gone through the training and been placed in jobs on farms.

Read more about them and some of their amazing career-changing stories on pg44.

Dairy NZ are also getting many interesting people attending their GoDairy courses and finding roles in the industry (p50).

Lincoln University has also had a 30% lift on the same time last year in domestic student applications for some degrees and good increases in diploma enrolments with the fees-free policy for course costs.

Chris Neill takes a look at the DairyNZ Mark and Measure course – rated as the best professional development they have undertaken for building their business by a number of recent participants (p52).

Research in 2017 by economic think tank BERL found an apprenticeship just as lucrative across a lifetime as a university education, and miles ahead of no education at all past school – so for both employers and employees it’s a no-brainer – get involved in free, wage-subsidised training – its good for you, good for the sector and for the economy.

Jackie Harrigan