Meat processors welcome stronger industry voice in workforce training

Tim Ritchie, Meat Industry Association.
Tim Ritchie.

The Meat Industry Association welcomes the establishment of six industry-led Workforce Development Councils.

The meat processing industry, one of the biggest trainers in New Zealand and the country’s largest manufacturing sector, is to become part of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Workforce Development Council (WDC).

“Ensuring that the vocational education reforms deliver is critical for meat processors,” says Tim Ritchie, chief executive of the MIA.

“This is an opportunity for our industry to work with other food and beverage manufacturers to build a skills pipeline that works for industry.

“There are significant synergies by having industries with similar training environments and needs being more closely aligned. For our industry that means aligning with other food manufacturers who operate in a factory environment.

“But equally, we are pleased that there will be a strong Primary WDC focused on delivering the best possible training system for farmers and growers. We especially welcome the Education Minister’s recognition that vocational training has to be led by the industries.”

Last year, meat processors trained more than 5,300 people in NZQA-recognised qualifications with an 83 percent completion rate.

The meat processing sector is looking forward to a WDC which will support the development and implementation of workforce strategies and create a better skills pipeline, says Ritchie.

“We also want a WDC that can create the qualifications responsive to the needs of industry. We want a strong voice for meat processors and to work with aligned food and beverage manufacturers in the new WDC.”

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