The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has teamed up with the Rural Contractors New Zealand Inc (RCNZ) to launch a new partnership to solve the labour shortage for contractors.
Jill Hewitt, NAAC CEO, said: “The industry is having real problems in sourcing professional, experienced labour, particularly in seasonal peaks. To try and assist, the NAAC and RCNZ are working in partnership to assist our members in exchanging labour. This is a fantastic opportunity for our team members to gain experience, see the world and keep busy year-round, also taking the pressure off our contracting members and retaining staff through the winter.”
As border entry is back to normality following Covid, it should be possible for staff to find year-round work. The UK welcomes New Zealand workers through the Youth Mobility Scheme, if aged between 18 and 35, with working visas of up to 24 months available. In addition, there is the skilled worker option, sponsored by a UK employer.
In New Zealand, UK citizens under 35 can gain a holiday working visa if they have not been to New Zealand before, and there is a skilled workers option, sponsored by an employer for workers who have travelled to the country before.
“Covid and closed borders severed a lot of the international ties our members had to contacts in the UK and whilst there are some of the bigger players who can sort experienced labour, the vast majority are a bit stuck on connecting to the UK labour market and this is where the trade bodies can help out,” said Andrew Olsen RCNZ CEO.
There are currently opportunities to get a New Zealand visa and start work in October, with UK nationals returning here to start work in the spring.
The process for NAAC members is:
- Check that contractors are members of either the NAAC or RCNZ
- UK workers can email CVs to [email protected]. The RCNZ will then make direct contact with workers to discuss employment.
- New Zealand workers can email CVs to [email protected]. NAAC members will be sent the CVs and can make direct contact.
Both organisations note that they cannot verify the status or professionalism of exchange workers.
For more information go to www.naac.co.uk