Generation Change pilot participant and Lincoln University PhD student, Victoria Agyepong. Photo / Supplied
A new programme to attract more young women into work in the food and fibre sector is set to start in Palmerston North.
“Generation Change” is a one-day workshop and mentoring programme, which prepares young women for meaningful work in the food and fibre sector.
The Agri-Women’s Development Trust workshop followed on from an online pilot in March, which was attended by 50 women.
The programme was now set for a series of face-to-face events over the next 15 months, starting in Palmerston North on Tuesday, August 2.
The programme supported young women to bring their perspectives and ideas to the sector to drive change, Agri-Women’s Development Trust general manager Lisa Sims said.
“It’s for young women in any type of tertiary study or training who are curious about a career in any part of the primary sector supply and value chains, from the farm or orchard to marketing, tech support and shipping.”
The workshop covered four key areas, Sims said.
“Participants reflect on their values, strengths and purpose, exploring the mega trends shaping the sector’s future, plan a meaningful career and connect with inspiring, supportive sector leaders including a mentor.”
The pilot programme resulted in 50 mentoring relationships between programme participants and leaders from the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, Rural Leaders NZ and NZ Young Farmers networks.
One participant who found the pilot programme valuable was Lincoln University PhD student, Victoria Agyepong, who used it as an opportunity to establish a primary sector network.
Agyepong started a social enterprise to improve educational and development outcomes for New Zealand’s immigrant workforce.
As a young mum who had just immigrated to New Zealand while figuring out her PhD, Agyepong said she was completely overwhelmed with her new life.
“My mentor, Janine Alfeld, has helped me develop organisational, leadership and policy skills to balance work, life and study, and understand the NZ context,” she said.
“I’m happy to be working to create career advocates through an online mentoring and peer learning platform for immigrants with families.”
Agyepong said Alfeld’s “attentive, empathetic and knowledgeable” approach to her career development helped her achieve her goals.
Young women currently in tertiary study or training who were interested in “Generation Change” could find out more here.
Generation Change is co-funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries and AGMARDT through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund, and supported by amp’d Careers.