New campaign to help Kiwis in dairy farming jobs

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The Government and dairy sector have joined forces on a new campaign to support COVID-19 affected workers into a farming career.

The 2020 GoDairy campaign was launched today by DairyNZ, in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry for Social Development, and with support from Federated Farmers.

“We know that people have lost their jobs because of COVID-19, and we know there is significant and urgent demand for trained workers in the dairy sector,” says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor .

“We want to continue to connect people with jobs in dairy, and more broadly in the primary industries because we know these sectors will be key to our economic recovery.

“GoDairy has a crucial role to play. The programme has a history of successfully recruiting and supporting people into dairy careers, over the past 15 years.

"The Government and the sector are giving it a welcome boost to encourage new-found farmers, by investing $3.5 million to expand this crucial work during our economic recovery."

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says although the new campaign is still in its early days, there is good interest from people wanting to pursue a dairy farming career.

“Like all successful businesses, dairy farming needs good talent. Currently there are 1000 job vacancies on dairy farms nationwide.

“There are excellent career opportunities in farming – from doing the books, to working with machinery, caring for animals, and managing staff. Technology plays a major part in the business too.

“To date, GoDairy has interest from people across a range of career backgrounds – from tourism and hospitality to engineering, finance, and truck drivers. While many people might not be familiar with the day-to-day of dairy farming, most have work and life skills that are readily transferrable."

The Minister of Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni says MSD is focused on getting New Zealanders into jobs and this is an important partnership to support people who want to refocus their skill sets.

“We have direct access to the largest pool of available talent in New Zealand and can help the dairy sector fill jobs while supporting New Zealanders into an important career pathway."

O’Connor says GoDairy’s training module will be available to other primary industry sectors – outside of dairy - to adapt, such as beef, lamb, and horticulture.

“This campaign complements the Government’s work to place 10,000 New Zealanders in primary sector jobs in the immediate term by rapidly retraining and absorbing workers displaced from other sectors.

"We’ve committed $19.3 million to this as part of our $1.6 billion Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package.”

Other Government investment into jobs and training includes:

Anyone interested in a dairy farming career can discover more about GoDairy’s Farm Ready Training and sign up at


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