FRS Farm Relief and New Zealand Dairy Careers Announce Work Exchange Scheme for Young Dairy Farmers From New Zealand & Ireland

FRS Farm Relief and New Zealand Dairy Careers (NZDC) are thrilled to announce their collaboration to offer an Immigration New Zealand approved Work Exchange Scheme, providing opportunities for 18-30-year-old dairy farmers from New Zealand and Ireland.

NZDC is the only Immigration New Zealand approved organization that holds this accreditation for the dairy industry which enables people who had already used a Working Holiday Visa (WHS) in NZ to return again.

Under the scheme, Irish participants have the opportunity to experience 12 months in the vibrant dairy industry of New Zealand, expanding their skills and knowledge in a diverse agricultural landscape. Importantly, Irish citizens who have previously used their New Zealand Working Holiday Visa allocation are also eligible to apply for this Work Exchange Scheme, allowing them a second sojourn in New Zealand.

In turn, participants from New Zealand have the chance to embark on a 12-month journey to Ireland, where FRS will place these experienced workers alongside Irish dairy farmers, learning best practices and gaining insights into Irish farming techniques.

“We’re delighted to join forces with this accreditation which is a result of working closely with FRS for nearly a decade now.  This collaboration reflects our commitment to fostering international cooperation in agriculture and empowering the next generation of dairy professionals,” said Matt Jones, Director of NZDC.

“We’re excited to partner with NZDC to facilitate this exchange of talent and expertise between New Zealand and Ireland,” said Colette McInerney, Head of Operations, FRS Co-op “This programme provides valuable learning opportunities and promotes collaboration within the global dairy community.”

The NZDC-FRS Work Exchange Scheme is designed to facilitate cultural exchange, skill development, and career advancement for individuals involved in the dairy farming industry. Through this partnership, participants have the chance to immerse themselves in a new country, gain hands-on agricultural experience, and forge lifelong connections.

Simon Henderson from New Zealand has been working on a farm in Co. Kilkenny as an FRS Operator since he arrived through the exchange scheme in January 2024. Simon said, “I would recommend the experience to other New Zealanders as it is a good way to look at something differently and to get to the other side of the world and experience the different farming practices and culture. There are more people to less cows on farm in Ireland so there is good support. The support from FRS is also great to have and makes things a lot easier. Cows are wintered off grass, which is different to New Zealand’s common practice, so you gain the knowledge on how to manage housing and animal health in that environment. Calving seemed to be a much smoother process than at home and there is great practice from an animal welfare point of view.” Simon has visited Dublin and other towns in his spare time and plans to do a bus tour around Europe to explore some areas and cities before he heads home.

Molly from Ireland has been working in New Zealand on a dairy farm in Canterbury for the last 8 months. Molly said “I moved here 8 months ago and currently I’m working on a dairy farm. If you’re thinking about moving to New Zealand I highly recommend you do.  Since moving over here my life’s been so much more enjoyable, the hours here are really good and you get time to do other stuff like travelling around.”

 Key highlights of the NZDC-FRS Work Exchange Programme include:

  • Irish citizens who have already used their New Zealand Working Holiday Visa allocation are also eligible to apply for this Work Exchange Scheme
  • Paid job placements for young New Zealanders on dairy farms in Ireland with average wages ranging from €12.72 to €13.50 per hour.
  • Paid job placements for young Irish on dairy farms in New Zealand with average wages ranging from $25 to $33 per hour.
  • On-the-job training in various aspects of dairy farming, including animal health, pasture management, and farm maintenance.
  • Accommodation options, pastoral support services, assistance with visa applications, travel arrangements, through to airport transfers.

Applications for the programme are now open to Irish and New Zealand citizens aged 18 to 30 with at least 12 months of practical farming experience. Interested candidates can visit the NZDC and FRS websites for more information on eligibility criteria and application procedures.

As leaders in the dairy industry, NZDC and FRS are committed to providing transformative opportunities for young farmers around the world. By joining forces, they aim to create a global network of skilled and passionate individuals driving innovation and sustainability in agriculture.

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