Republished from Stuff

Felt acutely across the country, recent reports have noted a shortage of some 4,000 people in dairy alone. Stories shared include the tragedy of a vegetable grower with no workers available for harvest ploughing hundreds of thousands of lettuce back into to the ground, a spike in the number of farm jobs available on platforms like Seek and Trade Me, and an emerging mental health crisis as rural business owners are stressed, frustrated and over-worked.

One can only imagine the frustration and despair of a grower destroying months of hard work when ploughing a crop into the ground is less costly than attempting harvest.

That’s where Ag Work NZ steps into the picture. Sourcing, verifying and pre-screening keen as candidates in the United Kingdom, they’re determined to ease the process of finding international talent eager to get to work and soak up all our country has to offer.

Ag Work NZ is an initiative of agricultural driving school Ag Drive, matching those looking for international holiday work experience in New Zealand with the farmers and other agribusiness operators desperate for quality people to keep their operations running safely and efficiently.

Following a successful pilot and launch, Ag Work NZ is looking to close the skills gap on farms by connecting keen young people from one of New Zealand’s largest trading partners with local farmers, with a focus on delivering long-term value.

“We are passionate about setting overseas workers up for success, in the New Zealand agricultural sector,” confirms CEO Janine Peters.

As an international agricultural recruitment business, Ag Work NZ stands out with direct connections to agricultural university and colleges contractors in the United Kingdom through specialised UK-based consultants, along with local counterparts.

The international team finds experienced, driven candidates who are keen to explore and experience New Zealand’s globally recognised low-emissions agricultural industry on 6-24 month working holiday visas. Meanwhile, the local consultants get to know farmers and their teams so matches are accurately made for the benefit of all parties.

A big advantage is Ag Work NZ handling the paperwork for busy farmers and for candidates; as experts in the process, this saves time and money by making arguably the toughest aspect of hiring a smooth and simple process for all involved.

The company even facilitates video interviews so farmers can meet prospective employees before they leave the UK – and every pre-screened and assessed candidate arrives at the employer with an IRD number and a local bank account: they are ready to get to work with no fuss and no hassle.

Once employees are at work on the farm, additional support is provided, both for workers by connecting them to a community, and continued engagement with farmers so evolving needs are addressed and any issues resolved.

The link with Ag Drive is a bonus, with the knowledge and resources of the training centre put to the advantage of all candidates. On arrival in the country, the driver training school provides every new employee with an NZ safety induction before they join the workforce.

If labour is a challenge on your farm or agricultural concern, don’t delay. Get in touch with Ag Work NZ immediately and start the process towards securing the skills you need now.