BOP Industry Attracts Recruits for Horticulture Careers
- New role created to attract people into BOP horticulture careers
- Having the right skilled employees is critical to enable industry growth
The Bay of Plenty now has a newly established Education Coordinator to maximise the number of New Zealanders employed by the sector and ensure the sustainability of horticultural growth.
Traditionally, the Bay of Plenty’s horticultural industries have had limited resources to enhance the perception of horticulture as a career option. This has now changed through additional funding from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), allowing more effective exposure of the wide range of businesses and opportunities available to those who have a potential career in the horticulture industries.
The Education Coordinator roles are a result of a partnership between the Provincial Growth Fund and Horticulture New Zealand. $1.1 million is being invested by the PGF in six horticulture career coordinators across New Zealand to increase people capability and fill jobs within the industries.
The Bay of Plenty Education Coordinator Di Holloway is no stranger to either the education sector nor the horticulture industry. Before coming into the role, Di gained significant education experience as a teacher, most recently at Te Puke High School, along with a background in undertaking research trials. Di has also previously been a kiwifruit grower so brings excellent experience.
Horticultural industries such as kiwifruit are expanding rapidly. Sales of kiwifruit generated $2.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $4 billion in 2027. In order to meet demand for this growth, Di says she will expand on the industry’s current activities such as Cultivate your Career, Future Leaders and BOP Young Fruit Grower competition.
“One important part of my role is to identify potential students and link them into horticulture”, says Di. “There are a range of ways to do this, from connecting with employers and educational and training institutions in areas such as the Eastern Bay or the Innovative Horticulture Project at Katikati College. Another way is to connect with career advisors and students and make them aware of the career opportunities that the horticulture industries offer.”
Di adds that her work is not restricted to students. “There are lots of people wanting a change in career or have got a taste of the industry as a seasonal worker. It’s great to show the very wide range of opportunities available in the horticulture industries which caters to people’s different interests.”
Horticulture New Zealand CEO Mike Chapman agrees with Di and adds “There are a lot of technical roles available in the horticulture industry and I encourage people to look into the range of degrees available such as the Bachelor of Horticultural Science at Massey University.”
Di’s role is a positive reflection of a growing industry. More information on careers in horticulture can be found on the Education page of nzkgi.org.nz here: