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Comvita launches beekeeping apprenticeship programme


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Comvita, a world market leader in mānuka honey, has launched its inaugural apprenticeship programme in beekeeping.

Established in 1974, Comvita has enjoyed a long and successful history in the industry but recognise these are challenging times for many New Zealanders, and believes the creation of jobs is key to long-term economic and social recovery.

"During these unprecedented times, consumers all over the world are turning to natural health products," chief executive David Banfield said.

"We have an important leadership role to play."

The scheme, Banfield said, allowed the company to train a new generation of beekeepers.

Speaking at the programme launch in Paengaroa this month, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Andrew Little said in the Bay of Plenty honeybee pollination was central to the success of the country's $2 billion kiwifruit crop.

"The launch of the beekeeping apprenticeship is timely for an exciting growth industry that can scale in the regions where jobs are needed."

Manager Trevor Clarke will oversee the programme and said the scheme would
ensure that "we have more talented beekeepers available in the future to further enhance our global leadership."

There will be up to 12 apprentice roles in the 2020 intake. Each will follow a three-year development framework and all placements will be targeted regionally.

Comvita is hoping to attract a diverse range of skills and experiences to the industry, and permanent employment is guaranteed to those who successfully complete the programme.

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Three years to learn how to overstock, site steal and lose money.  Wouldn't have thought it took that long.

I'm going to come right out and say that I sold 50 hives to a Comvita Team Leader (guy who is in charge of a team of beekeepers). Before he drove off with them I asked him to go through and check each

Hi @jamesc, I got three boys too, we could do a swap.....only joking! But seriously I do agree that the young ones should go out and learn somewhere else, I do encourage mine so, to  learn something e

If all training is inhouse, they will do nothing for the industry, and twelve a year will not overcome the company deficit in skills, relative to the number of hives they have. Typical board-room decision making using ideas promulgated by marketing maggots.

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Guys ..... I like the idea . I see no reason to put down  someone or organisation who is prepared to take a punt on the future.

 

I have an idea .

I have three boys who are quite keen to work the land, but I'm not gonna train any of them. I wouldn't be hard enough on them because they are blood and soul. They need to go elsewhere.

 

So, my advice to Comvita is to go for it, but send the young 'uns out into the wider community with some established beekeepers to learn the hard yards. Places where they can learn the trade one on one with an experienced teacher , and then perhaps in the third year bring them back into the fold to learn the company way.

 

I for one would be more than happy to host a trainee ..... paid for of course by Jacinda.

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A lot of negatively on the approach, at a time when people will be retraining having lost their current employment due to Covid. So from me it gets a thumbs up and for Comvita I'd assume it fills a (cheaper?) labour gap. Perhaps this is the way the fruit growers need to go to fill their labour shortfall?

 

I'd be keen on understanding the differences between Comvitas offering and that of ApiNZ's. The latter brings people out with a qualification at Level 4 from my understanding which is an important aspect.

 

Always keen on hearing the alternative solutions offered from the smaller companies too, it sounds like many of you are keen to put forward your own offerings.

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17 minutes ago, Grant said:

I'd be keen on understanding the differences between Comvitas offering and that of ApiNZ's. The latter brings people out with a qualification at Level 4 from my understanding which is an important aspect.

 

I have no idea how ApiNZ apprenticeship differs from Comvita.  But I do note that Comvita have a seat on the ApiNZ Education Focus Group, who are advocating apprenticeship programmes.  

 

I guess if you are on a committe, it doesn't always mean that you agree with what the committee is about. 

 

The Chair of the ApiNZ Focus Group is a sugar saleman.  It would be really interesting to here his take on why Comvita who are on his focus group, as to why Comvita are by the looks of it are running a different programme.  Or is Comvita running an ApiNZ apprenticeship programme?  

 

Very confusing.    

 

I am a great believer in education, but education in the beekeeping sector is ridicously fragmented.  I don't have enough fingers to count how many governent recognised providers there are.  As far as I am concerned, this is a major industry failure.  The government is handing out megamillions to multiple training schemes at various levels.  I doubt if many of those at level 3 that the government is subsidising whether these people will ever work in the industry.  

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Beekeeping is best learned by doing.

I just wiped out a whole page of my thoughts on the subject but those six words sum it all up.

James. If you want your children to learn then send them off in the off-season to Canada or England. I wish I had done that when I was younger.

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14 minutes ago, john berry said:

Beekeeping is best learned by doing.

I do agree.  But that was the case, unfortunately in another era, when employers and employees had loyalty to each other.  People found a good employer and they stuck with them.  And when, many in this industry worked the off season in the northern hemisphere

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19 hours ago, Grant said:

A lot of negatively on the approach, at a time when people will be retraining having lost their current employment due to Covid. So from me it gets a thumbs up and for Comvita I'd assume it fills a (cheaper?) labour gap. Perhaps this is the way the fruit growers need to go to fill their labour shortfall?

 

I'd be keen on understanding the differences between Comvitas offering and that of ApiNZ's. The latter brings people out with a qualification at Level 4 from my understanding which is an important aspect.

 

Always keen on hearing the alternative solutions offered from the smaller companies too, it sounds like many of you are keen to put forward your own offerings.


@Grant, it would be interesting to know if they were joining the apprenticeship scheme labour have just started funding where any beekeepers you have already working for you as well as new employees can be called an apprentice and you get govt subsidised wages .
 

Even I could be an apprentice and have my wages subsidised .

I don’t think for a minute that Comvita are funding their own apprenticeship scheme.

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11 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:


@Grant, it would be interesting to know if they were joining the apprenticeship scheme labour have just started funding where any beekeepers you have already working for you as well as new employees can be called an apprentice and you get govt subsidised wages .
 

Even I could be an apprentice and have my wages subsidised .

I don’t think for a minute that Comvita are funding their own apprenticeship scheme.

I got a new apprentice, where do you sign up for the subsidy?

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53 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

says you must be studying under a tertiary education provider etc

would that be such a hard thing to do? Im doing a level 4 beekeeping paper and it takes a zoom call twice a month in the evening and a weekend once a month. They can still work

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23 hours ago, Grant said:

A lot of negatively on the approach, at a time when people will be retraining having lost their current employment due to Covid. So from me it gets a thumbs up and for Comvita I'd assume it fills a (cheaper?) labour gap. Perhaps this is the way the fruit growers need to go to fill their labour shortfall?

 

I'd be keen on understanding the differences between Comvitas offering and that of ApiNZ's. The latter brings people out with a qualification at Level 4 from my understanding which is an important aspect.

 

Always keen on hearing the alternative solutions offered from the smaller companies too, it sounds like many of you are keen to put forward your own offerings.

I would imagine it’s incredibly cheap labour when the tax payer is funding it, probably much cheaper then immigrants.

 

I think what irks me the most about this is the concept of my tax payer dollars funding corporate entities to employ and ‘train’ cheap labour at a time when many of us are struggling.


If they want to train apprentices then that’s great, but they can pay for it themselves

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41 minutes ago, Daley said:

I would imagine it’s incredibly cheap labour when the tax payer is funding it, probably much cheaper then immigrants.

 

I think what irks me the most about this is the concept of my tax payer dollars funding corporate entities to employ and ‘train’ cheap labour at a time when many of us are struggling.


If they want to train apprentices then that’s great, but they can pay for it themselves

Usually they wont though, most the workers ive seen are foreigners, no speaka da engley, even their manager had an accent.

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