New initiative aims to fill worker shortages

June 29, 2022

A new initiative, Ag Work NZ, will try to entice more people to New Zealand and into farm worker and tractor driver roles.

Ag Work NZ is affiliated with rural driver training provider Ag Drive and will bring experienced staff over from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe on holiday working visas, following the reopening of NZ’s borders.

Director Andre Syben says the launch is perfectly timed to fill the extreme farm worker shortages in New Zealand, while capitalising on the re-opening of NZ borders after the covid-19 pandemic closures.

“What we’re hearing from NZ farmers and agricultural contractors is that they’re desperate for staff,” Syben said.

Northern hemisphere workers will be recruited by Ag Works’ own UK-based team, who will interview and screen workers.

Then, in conjunction with the Ag Works NZ-based recruitment team, potential workers will be matched with NZ farm and agricultural employers for an online interview.

Employers can then make a job offer and farm workers make their own way to NZ.

Upon arrival, pastoral care support will be provided on the ground by Ag Work NZ, to make the transition as seamless as possible.

All recruits will undergo a two-day machine operation course with Ag Drive, tailored to working conditions in NZ, as well as being set up with bank accounts, IRD numbers and local phones.

Transport will then be arranged to get recruits to their new jobs around NZ.

NZ Employers can sign up with Ag Work NZ online to access UK staff, ready and waiting to work in NZ.