Wine industry attracts the educated

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 11:34 21/03/2014

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Marlborough is fast becoming a highly educated region and a wine scientist says the wine industry is playing a big role in the change.

According to the 2013 Census figures, there were 27,552 people aged over 15 in the region with tertiary level qualifications. This was an increase of 1917 people in the same age group with qualifications from the 2006 census.

The number of over-15-year-olds who said they did not have qualifications decreased by 900 individuals to 8115 individuals in the same time period.

Plant and Food Research principal scientist Dr Mike Trought said he thought it was a good reflection on the impact the wine industry had on the region.

"I find this quite exciting, knowing that people are qualifying themselves in our region. All the winemakers and viticulturists would have qualifications and possibly be adding to them as well," he said.

The increase of 300 individuals with overseas secondary school qualifications did not surprise him either.

"It shows we live in a thriving environment and we should feel fortunate to be a part of it." he said.

He hoped the growth will help put an end to the stigma that people can be over qualified for a job. The amount of people who had a Masters had increased by 200 and he hoped it would continue to rise.

"Sadly, people are uncomfortable around people with high qualifications - they shouldn't be, they are normal people that are just very dedicated to studying," he said.

To him the beauty of the wine industry was that it offered such a wide range of career options.

"It is a very technical field that offers more choices than people know. There are electricians, builders, drivers and machinery operators that are all getting officially qualified, specifically to work in the wine industry," he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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