5 August 2021    New Zealand’s meat processing and exporting sector has launched a campaign to help address the industry’s chronic shortage of employees.

The “Meat your career” website www.meatyourcareer.co.nz aims to highlight the wide range of opportunities available in the sector and shift the historic perceptions of what working in the industry is like.

The website includes videos featuring people working in the industry talking about their roles, a description of the types of positions available and guidance on remuneration. The recruitment drive is underpinned by a social media campaign targeting potential employees and making them aware of the opportunities in the sector.

“The industry is about 2,000 workers short and this results in reduced production and robs New Zealand of important export revenue,” says Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the Meat Industry Association (MIA), which has developed the campaign.

“This campaign is focused on letting Kiwis know our innovative and progressive sector is at the cutting-edge of food manufacturing. Our people are world leaders in producing and exporting quality and nutritious food to more than 100 markets across the globe. We offer a range of exciting roles, competitive salaries, strong career pathways and an incredibly diverse workforce.”

There are roles in the industry for those without any formal qualifications or experience as well as for those who have completed training or tertiary and post-graduate study, says Ms Karapeeva.

“We have graduates working in many areas of the industry including sales and marketing, international trade, communications, IT, new product development and food science. There are strong career paths to enable graduates to progress from entry level to more senior and management roles.

“There are also many opportunities in processing for people of different ages, stages of life and levels of experience – from school leavers to those looking for a career change or a return to the workplace.

“Coming in at entry level, you will not require any formal qualifications as plenty of training will be provided, leading to formal NZQA qualifications. There is also the potential to progress to leadership/supervisory roles as well as apprenticeships.

“Meat processing workers do a variety of tasks and are relatively well paid. An experienced lead hand can earn a salary comparable to a primary school teacher or registered nurse.”

The sector invests heavily in training and upskilling, says Ms Karapeeva.

“Our industry is the largest on the job trainer in the country. While we invest heavily in automation and technology, many of the processing tasks need to be done by a person and cannot easily be automated.”

The sector directly employs more than 25,000 workers with the vast majority in regional New Zealand, where meat processors are often the largest single employer in many towns. The red meat sector generated $9.3 billion of exports last year.

The website can be reached at:  www.meatyourcareer.co.nz


For more information, please contact:

Sirma Karapeeva

021 256 5347