Anyone in the Te Puke area who is fit to work and wants a job can probably have one tomorrow, says Seeka chief executive Michael Franks.
The Zespri Science Scholarships are aimed at students considering a career in the fast-growing kiwifruit industry: each worth up to $15,000 over three years and include mentoring opportunities, exposure to and support from the wider industry.
Zespri Innovation Team Leader – Supply Chain, Dr Kylie Phillips says Zespri is on track to nearly double global sales from 2010 levels to $4.5 billion by 2025 and it can only do this by attracting the right people with the right skills.
“Zespri’s extensive research and development programme is building scientific understanding of how best to grow and deliver premium quality kiwifruit to consumers all over the world. Technology and science are changing our industry and the horticulturalists of tomorrow will need different skillsets from the growers and postharvest operators of today.
“With the industry growing strongly in New Zealand and around the world, we want to attract talented young people with the skills to support our value chain supply premium Zespri Kiwifruit that our consumers demand. This is a really exciting time to be starting a career in the kiwifruit industry,” says Phillips.
Head of Massey’s School of Agriculture and Environment Professor Peter Kemp says this investment will be a great opportunity for students and the kiwifruit industry.
“As one of the world’s leading horticultural companies, Zespri’s investment shows additional support for the degree and the students that it will produce. The Bachelor of Horticultural Science welcomed its first cohort this year, aiming to fulfil a real need in a booming industry.
“It was created with close engagement from industry leaders, including Zespri. By working closely with industry, we will continue to produce students with the broad knowledge they will need to excel within this exciting industry and prepare them for future jobs,” says Kemp.
Applicants for the scholarships should show how they are helping, or are planning to help, develop the New Zealand horticultural industry, with a particular emphasis on kiwifruit. They should show their own personal passion and commitment to New Zealand kiwifruit and horticulture as a career.
This scholarship is part of Zespri’s broader programme of education and personal development at every age and stage from science in junior schools, to scholarships for tertiary study, and career development for future and current leaders of the kiwifruit industry.
Applications are now open and close at the end of January 2020.