The vocational education system has not been flexible and nimble enough to meet industry need.

There is a large and well organised body of informal and non-formal learning which plays an important role in skills acquisition for the industry. Due to the existing vocational education system not being flexible enough to accommodate and keep up with the rate of change in the industry, non-formal and informal training has taken precedence. 

The Waikato Regional Skills Leadership Group has identified in their Regional Workforce Plan that some of the future skills and knowledge required for the dairy sector include:  

  • Business and management skills in the areas of risk management, food safety and quality assurance systems
  • Higher levels of production-oriented skills including whole farm systems, information management, resource use, financial efficiency, soft skills, and managing local and migrant staff and contractors
  • Increased science and technical support skills, particularly researchers on resource use efficiency, reducing environment effects and agriculture resource economics
  • More accredited rural professionals and providers to transfer new techniques and knowledge to farmers