Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston is encouraging graduate vets working in rural areas to apply for funding through the Vet Bonding Scheme.
Since the Scheme was launched in 2009, 227 graduates vets have helped address the ongoing shortages of vets working with production animals in rural areas of New Zealand.
“The 2014 People Powered report told us that by 2025, we need 33,300 more workers with qualifications providing support services, such as veterinary services, to the primary industries,” says Ms Upston.
“By incentivising graduate vets to work in practices that focus on treating production and working animals, we are supporting the increasing demand for skilled workers in the primary industries.”
“Improvements were made earlier this year to ensure the Scheme continues to meet industry needs. These changes included holding the funding round later, allowing grad vets time to secure employment (an application requirement), and including working dogs as an eligible work focus.”
Vets taking part in the scheme are eligible for $55,000 ($11,000 each year) over five years. MPI pays the first instalment in the third year of the scheme, with the second and third instalments made after the fourth and fifth years respectively.
“If you’re in your first year as a practicing veterinarian and have a job in an eligible practice, you may qualify for funding.”
The 2017 funding round will open on 14 August and close at 3pm on 28 August 2017.
For eligibility criteria and to apply, visit http://www.mpi.govt.nz/funding-and-programmes/farming/vet-bonding-scheme/
The Māia video series released today brings the employability skills framework to life for rangatahi Māori, says Associate Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Louise Upston.
“By 2030, approximately 30% of our students – and therefore our future workforce – will be Māori and will make up a significant proportion of the country’s working-age population by 2040.
The Māia video series, produced by the Tertiary Education Commission provide real examples and a positive connection between employers, employees, and young Māori.
“By combining the employability skills framework with successful Māori business stories and values, we have a visual and authentic learning resource.
“Employers have told us that employability skills like resilience, self-management and a positive attitude are critical for any prospective job seeker in the modern workplace,” says Ms Upston.
The seven employability skills announced in May are the key behaviours, attitudes and personal qualities employers say are critical for gaining employment and performing well in a job.
The series is suitable for all young people whether they are looking to secure their first job, to gain interview skills, start learning on-the-job or to learn the skills and knowledge they need to be an entrepreneur.
And with 22,000 Māori presently owning their own business, there are many opportunities on offer in industries like information technology which is growing exponentially.
The government’s Ka Hao (the Māori Digital Technology Development Fund) launched in 2016 supports initiatives that create high value jobs and opportunities for Māori in digital technologies.
With the government’s work focusing on apprenticeships and on-the-job learning options to fill the skills shortage, there’s a ton of opportunities for young people including some high-paying careers in trades on offer.
The Māīa video series is available on the Careers New Zealand Facebook page or at www.careers.govt.nz/maia.
More information on the employability skills is available at www.careers.govt.nz/plan-your-career/not-sure-what-to-do/skills-employers-are-looking-for.
Corrections Minister Louise Upston has welcomed 45 new Corrections officers to the front line.
The latest cohort, which graduated at a ceremony in Wellington today, includes officers from the United Kingdom, Samoa, South Africa and India. They come from a range of professions including former police officers, nurses and mental health workers.
“Corrections staff play an extremely important role. Not only do they keep our communities safe, they ensure the safety of prisoners and often act as mentors and confidantes to the people in their care. Some people in our prisons have never had positive role models and Corrections officers are in a unique position to be do that,” Ms Upston says.
“That is why Corrections seeks people with varied life and work skills from a diverse range of backgrounds. Being that person who can help turn someone away from a life of crime is special and I applaud these new Corrections officers for taking that step.”
Charmaine Shaw of Christchurch Women’s Prison was presented with the Minister’s Excellence Award which acknowledges the leadership, enthusiasm and drive she displayed during training.
Ms Shaw speaks Te Reo Maori and has worked in education, with youth and people with mental health issues. She is involved in sports, including managing the South Island Scorpions rugby league team.
“Charmaine is described a natural leader and is known for her ability to uplift and encourage others. These are fantastic attributes in a Corrections officer,” Ms Upston says.
The new graduates will work at prisons across the country.
Associate Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Louise Upston has welcomed the launch of 10 regional skills roadmaps to help the service industry tailor training according to the needs of the regional workforce.
The regional roadmaps were developed jointly by the service sector industry training organisation ServiceIQ and the service industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and aviation.
The 10 roadmaps formally launched at an event at Parliament today cover Christchurch, Auckland Tourism, Queenstown Lakes, Northland, Taupō Lakes, Otago-Southland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Manawatū-Whanganui and Wellington.
Ms Upston says the aim of the roadmaps, developed to deliver specific training according to regional needs, is to better meet forecast regional workforce growth over the next five years.
“Service industries make up a large proportion of our economy and it is forecast that the sector will create 54,000 new jobs over the next five years. I congratulate ServiceIQ for partnering with industry employers to proactively plan and identify the skills needed across the sector in the regions,” Ms Upston says.
“One of this Government’s priorities is to improve the relevance and quality of tertiary education to meet current and future labour market needs. It makes sense that the mix of skills needed to fill future new jobs will differ depending on the employer profile for each region. For example, regions such as Auckland and Queenstown Lakes will see growth in tourism related services.
“Focusing on the regions will help to ensure training for local service workers remains relevant. Local workers will benefit from having the right skills, in the right place, at the right time for work that benefits their community,” Ms Upston says.
A further four skills roadmaps will be available by the end of the year. These include Auckland Retail, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay and Nelson-Marlborough-Tasman-West Coast. Waikato will complete the picture in 2018.
More information on the roadmaps can be found at http://www.serviceiq.org.nz/wfd/
A new nationwide set of environmental rules for managing New Zealand’s 1.7 million hectares of plantation forestry will better protect the environment and deliver significant savings in compliance costs, Minister for the Environment Dr Nick Smith and Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston say.
“Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest primary industry but its efficiency is hampered by the confusing mix of planning rules across New Zealand’s 86 councils. The strength of this national approach is that it will better protect the environment while also improving the productivity of the forestry sector by applying consistent environmental standards to reduce operational costs,” Dr Smith says.
“A major change with these new regulations is the development of three new tools for managing the environmental impacts from forestry, covering the issues of erosion, wilding pines and fish spawning.
“The benefit of these tools is that the restrictions on forestry activities are related to the environmental risk rather than which council area a forestry operation is in. This change is particularly important as 80 per cent of forest owners manage forests in multiple council areas.
“This new national forestry standard is part of the Government’s broader Resource Management Act reforms, facilitated by amendments passed in May this year. It follows other national regulations covering telecommunications, electricity transmission, waste tyre management, water metering and drinking water, contaminated soils and aquaculture.”
Ms Upston says the forestry industry will benefit from having a set of consistent regulations to operate under.
“Planning rules at local government level are subject to regular reviews and there could be as many as three sets of regional or district plan rules. Some large forests also cross local government boundaries, resulting in different rules for the same forest.”
“Removing this uncertainty will encourage greater investment in a significant contributor to our economy, especially at regional level. Forestry employs more than 26,000 people and exports total more than $5 billion a year,” Ms Upston says.
“The National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry covers eight core plantation forestry activities: afforestation, pruning and thinning to waste, earthworks, river crossings, forestry quarrying, harvesting, mechanical land preparation and replanting. Councils may apply stricter rules in special circumstances where local conditions require a more restrictive approach.”
The standard, which comes into force on 1 May, 2018, was developed jointly by the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment. Support and guidance will be provided to councils, foresters and key stakeholders to ensure an effective rollout.
A total of 5183ha of new forest will be planted by 101 applicants who have received support through the 2017 Afforestation Grant Scheme funding round, Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston says.
The Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS), administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries, aims to establish new forests by providing grants of $1300 per hectare to successful applicants.
“Estimates suggest that 1.1 million ha of land is at serious risk of erosion, and forest cover is the best form of erosion control. Through the AGS, we aim to plant 15,000ha of new forest by 2020,” says Ms Upston.
“The latest funding round drew 40 applications and 400ha more than last year’s. That brings the total number of hectares funded through the AGS since 2015 to 12,451, putting us well on track to achieving our 15,000ha goal by 2020.
“New forests created through the AGS will improve land-use productivity and regional economic development. It will also deliver environmental benefits such as reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and absorbing around 1.9 million tonnes of carbon every year,” Ms Upston says.
More information on the AGS can be found at www.mpi.govt.nz/ags
Prisoners taking part in this year’s Visa Wellington on a Plate are learning skills that will help them make positive changes in their lives, says Corrections Minister Louise Upston.
It’s the fifth time Rimutaka Prison has taken part in the event, and demand for tickets to its Gate to Plate this year was so great that a ballot had to be held.
Dinner will be prepared and served by a group of prisoners to around 240 paying guests over three nights starting on 15 August.
“If these men are able to gain catering qualifications and serve up restaurant quality meals, they’ll be able to find good jobs and have a far better chance of living crime-free on release,” says Ms Upston.
This year, as well as the dinners, three pop-up lunch events will be held the following week. Food made by the prisoners will be sold from a caravan in Midland Park in Wellington.
“The ongoing success of this event is the result of collaboration with industry groups and people giving back to their communities,” Ms Upston says.
Chef Martin Bosley with two guest chefs, James Pask from Whitebait and Kristan Mulcahy from Dillinger’s and the Green Man, have been working with Corrections catering instructors to mentor the prisoners in preparing and presenting the gourmet meals.
“I think Corrections and Martin Bosley can be very proud of creating something so positive inside Rimutaka Prison,” Ms Upston says.
Corrections has produced a video which can be viewed on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CorrectionsNZ/
A continued focus on the rehabilitation and reintegration needs of prisoners is the best way to turn the tide on the growing prison population, Corrections Minister Louise Upston says.
Corrections has a number of programmes designed to give offenders a chance at turning their lives around. This was recently given a boost in the Budget with an extra $18.6m for industry, training and support programmes in prisons.
“There is a degree of personal responsibility needed here but Corrections has worked hard in recent years to tailor programmes suited to individuals, designed to help them lead better, crime-free lives when they are released,” says Ms Upston.
“In its efforts to reduce reoffending, Corrections has placed significant emphasis on boosting the education of offenders. In the last financial year the rate of prisoners who started and completed a rehabilitation programme was around 80 per cent.”
Some of the programmes include short motivational programmes, young offenders programmes, drug and alcohol interventions, Maori therapeutic interventions, medium intensity rehabilitation programmes and special treatment unit programmes.
Corrections is committed to giving offenders access to vocational and trades training which support them into employment. In the last year almost 4000 qualifications were awarded to prisoners.
“The department is particularly focused on increasing the number of higher level qualifications achieved by prisoners in the areas of trades and technical training, as these are generally in higher demand from employers,” says Ms Upston.
The drug treatment unit programmes, which are a live-in therapeutic environment for prisoners with alcohol and drug issues, have had the largest increase in participation. The six-month programmes have shown positive results with reductions in rates of both reconviction and re-imprisonment.
In 2008, 234 prisoners started a drug treatment programme but by 2017 that had increased to 5395.
The launch of a new package of secondary school resources will help boost students’ understanding of and engagement with the primary industries, says Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston.
“Our primary industries are a vital part of our economy which account for more than 70 per cent of exports,” says Ms Upston.
“The Government is set on doubling our primary sector exports by 2025 but to do this we need a sustainable and skilled workforce. Ensuring we are engaging and educating students in primary industries technology early on plays a big part in this.”
This package is a part of a series of resources for schools developed by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Developed as a set of learning activities for mathematics, science, social studies and technology, the resources provide real-life primary industry situations, with a focus on innovation, for Year 9 and 10 students.
“School resources are one way of informing students about the diverse range of rewarding career pathways available in the primary sector before they enter tertiary study or the work force. With strong growth in the primary sector anticipated over the next few years, we need to encourage more young people to consider these options,” Ms Upston says.
The resources are available on the MPI website at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/teacher-resources/using-sopi-in-schools/
Corrections Minister Louise Upston is impressed at the results being achieved by the Department’s Employer Partnerships initiatives and is looking forward to them continuing to make a positive difference to people’s lives.
“Finding steady employment for offenders when they leave prison is a critical step to helping these people turn their lives around. The work Corrections has been doing with offenders and potential employers in this area is very promising,” says Ms Upston.
“The decision to recruit eight Offender Recruitment Consultants nationwide has proved particularly successful. Since they began making placements in November, 482 offenders have successfully moved into employment.”
The Employer Partnerships initiatives are designed to support offenders into employment with opportunities provided both inside and outside prison.
Offenders can obtain qualifications through education and training courses offered whilst in prison and this provides them with the first step towards employment when they are released.
Corrections then works with potential employers to match prisoners with positions relevant to their experience and qualifications. So far 125 employers have signed MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) with the Department.
“We have hosted three successful Employer’s breakfasts already this year in Hamilton, Christchurch and Wellington. The feedback from employers has been positive and has enabled us to engage, and build relationships, with employers, informing them of the opportunities available by working with Corrections.”
“There is a natural hesitancy for employers to take on offenders but the work that is being undertaken by Corrections is helping to break down those perceptions and is delivering work ready employees,” says Ms Upston.
Corrections is developing an enhanced strategy to build on the early success of the programme. This includes both a national and regional focus and an initiative to encourage current partners to bring a ‘friend’ to future events to understand the work being done by Corrections in industry, education and training.