Some young Aucklanders want to trade in city life for country life, with one-in-five of all people applying for a dairy apprenticeship coming from New Zealand's largest city.
The Primary Industry Training Organisation's chief executive Linda Sissons said, under a joint apprenticeship scheme with Federated Farmers, 240 people had registered their interest in becoming a dairy apprentice over the last year.
Forty of them had come from Auckland, Dr Sissons said.
"It's a good signal that dairying is a great career and starting out as an apprentice puts you on a premium pathway to leadership and even farm ownership," Dr Sissons said.
The dairy farming industry needed an estimated 17,000 new workers by 2025, and with over 85 percent of New Zealanders living in urban areas, employers will be looking to the cities, Dr Sissons said.
"We're really pleased to see that Aucklanders are interested in learning to be dairy farmers. When we launched the apprenticeship programme with Federated Farmers, we wanted to encourage smart, innovative and ambitious people on to farms," she said.
"The benefits of a dairy farming career in the regions, like affordable living and short commutes, are obvious and there are real benefits to the regions too from people joining their communities," she said.
At this stage, around 60 people have started apprenticeships, with the majority in Taranaki and Waikato, Dr Sissons said.