18 Jul 2013

Claim people being put off agriculture by school system

10:17 am on 18 July 2013

The head of the rural contracting association says agriculture needs to be made to sound more sexy in the classroom.

Rural Contractors New Zealand president Steve Levet says it's getting harder and harder to find qualified New Zealanders to do agricultural contracting work, and he believes the education system is partly to blame.

Mr Levet says the education system has always viewed agriculture as being a second rate option for the under-achievers at school.

He says the agricultural sector needs to target the brighter students and promote agriculture and agricultural contracting as a career opportunity.

Mr Levet says students can get qualifications in agricultural contractingm which is not only a highly-specialised field requiring great expertise, but opens the door to international travel as well.

The association is also calling on Immigration New Zealand to make it easier for qualified foreign drivers and machinery operators to return for the harvest each season.