The Dairy industry has produced the ‘Great Futures in Dairying’ plan in response to existing workforce challenges. It calls for more investment in careers, embracing new technology and working models; work-life balance; and increasing diversity.

Support a set of micro-credentials designed to address new and technical-based skills

The Dairy farming industry wants shorter, targeted, and flexible training. Ahead of a major review of the agriculture qualifications suite next year, Muka Tangata is developing a set of micro-credentials targeting identified skills gaps.

These are:

  • On-farm application of biosecurity plans
  • Dairy grazing
  • GHG emissions
  • Calf Rearing

Support programmes that provide transferable skills

The Dairy farming industry faces labour shortages. It recognises that having a workforce with transferable skills means that workers can move across the sector, opening up the labour pool for industries and providing options to workers for career paths.

Support work-based programmes that recognise the peaks and troughs of workloads in a seasonal industry

Work-based training needs to fit with the seasonal calendar of the Dairy industry, for example calving.

Support programmes across all levels that provide leadership/people management skills

Workforce retention is a key area of focus for the Dairy farming industry. Leadership skills, especially people leadership/management skills, are seen as a crucial component to fostering workplaces that retain staff, particularly when the industry is made up of small work teams. Training for these skills is usually reserved for higher level programmes (for example Level 5), but these concepts should be introduced earlier.

Support programmes that provide cultural competency skills

As the Dairy farming workforce becomes more diverse, cultural competency skills are essential. This will also help with staff retention.

Support programmes that provide health, wellbeing, communication, and self-awareness skills

Dairy farming is often solo or small team work in isolated workplaces. The industry is increasingly recognising the need for its workforce to have tools, techniques, and skills, such as communication and self-awareness, to maintain their own and other workers’ good health and wellbeing.


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