Dairy farmers – let’s work together to ensure your staff are valued for the skills they bring to the job. Using the right job title for the position you’re hiring is another way we can take a stand against the stand down.
Dairy farming – it’s the backbone of New Zealand’s economy. It’s what our country is known for but, at The Regions, we don’t believe our farmers get enough support that reflects the value they contribute, not only to our country’s economy but to the rural communities that are the grassroots of our society.
Our key account managers are all successful dairy farmers who employ migrant farmworkers from the Philippines and have done so for many years. They know the value these farmworkers bring to their business, and the contribution they make to the dairy farming economy. Our key account managers have also experienced first-hand the challenge of trying to find local farmworkers. The labour shortage within the dairy farming sector is real!
Having successful dairy farmers as key members of our staff means we have significant insight into the dairy farming sector. We recognise the commitment and resilience that is required to work the land each day, and the dedication it takes to start the day before anyone else does.
Although there are many benefits to working in the New Zealand dairy farming industry, we are also aware of the challenges farmers face in light of the severe labour shortage that currently exists. This was one of the main reasons we established The Regions Immigration Law. We saw a way that we could provide New Zealand’s dairy farming industry with a solution to the labour shortage and, at the same time, provide migrant farm workers from the Philippines, and their families, with a better life.
No low skilled workers here
Our vision for a better New Zealand has seen us take a stand against the proposed stand down policy. We are proud to be leading the way on this, but we also need the help of the dairy farming community. And we’re not just talking about signing our petition, though if you haven’t already done so, please do.
As a New Zealand dairy farmer and an employer of farm workers, we need you to use job titles that accurately reflect the skills and experience required of staff. We do not believe that anyone working on a New Zealand dairy farm fits the description of being a ‘low skilled worker’ as the current visa system would indicate.
Farming is not a low skilled job. It is a role which requires hard work and commitment, it requires the ability to operate complex machinery, and it demands an understanding of the seasonal variations when it comes to animals, crops and the land. Furthermore, physical stamina is critical for any farm worker, as is excellent time management skills.
If you are employing staff to work on your farm and you have more than 300 cows, please do not use the title 2IC. Instead, we recommend you use the title Assistant Farm Manager. This is a term that is better understood by Immigration New Zealand and better reflects the level of skill and experience that is required to do the job.
Better reflection of skills and competencies
We believe anyone taking up a position on a New Zealand dairy farm should receive a three-year, mid-skilled visa. This better reflects the skills and competencies you are looking for in an employee. Our farm workers whom we recruit from the Philippines are all dedicated, hardworking individuals who want a better life in New Zealand.
They take their jobs seriously, they give their jobs 110% and, at the same time, they are committed to becoming a valued member of the rural community in which they are employed. They want betterment for New Zealand.
Let’s stand up to Immigration New Zealand and push for better recognition of the skills it takes to work a farm. Together, we can all play a part in taking a stand against the stand down and changing New Zealand’s immigration policies for the betterment of our dairy farming economy.