Money spent on farming opportunities

AMANDA PARKINSON
Last updated 05:00 03/09/2013

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Venture Southland has agreed to spend $10,000 in an effort to encourage more young people to work in the farming industry.

The money will be spent on focus groups which investigate the lack of young people's engagement with primary industries.

Federated Farmers asked Venture to develop a new approach to create youth agricultural employment. About 40 regional stakeholders have been consulted but Venture was reluctant to comment on the findings from the research.

Yesterday, The Southland Times reported that Southland farmers were struggling to find young New Zealand workers with the right attitude.

Venture Southland enterprise and strategic projects group manager Steve Canny said the study would focus on both employers and employees.

"We want to see how perceptions have changed and why," Mr Canny said.

"Hopefully, if we understand how they have changed, we can drive youth back into the industry again."

Agriculture was the area's largest industry and one of the primary areas of employment in Southland.

"The industry is changing with increasing need for higher skilled managerial and technical staff," Mr Canny said.

Venture Southland committee members spoke yesterday about implementing careers guidance for year 10 students.

"It's when young people tend to be making decisions about their life and their senior subjects," Mr Canny said.

"Painting a picture of successful young people already in agriculture will be critical."

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- The Southland Times

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