Aoraki Polytechnic is teaming up with growing local dairy company, Oceania Dairy, to provide training for staff based at its Glenavy dairy operation.
The Polytechnic is negotiating with Oceania Dairy, owned by the Chinese dairy giant Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili), to provide for their training needs.
Oceania Dairy’s current Glenavy operations employ 78 people and Yili and Oceania Dairy last week announced a major, five-year expansion programme.
It is expected that the completed project will add a further 150 staff to the Oceania Dairy roster.
Aoraki Polytechnic’s Primary Industries portfolio manager Andrea Leslie was excited about the new business relationship.
“We see a real alignment between a number of our portfolios and the operation of the dairy plant,’’ she said.
The polytechnic had already offered short-courses in Excel and is planning on delivering the New Zealand Diploma in Dairy Processing to staff in mid-July 2015.
Leslie said other areas where the polytechnic’s portfolios and the dairy operation crossed over included engineering, first-line management, and apprenticeship programme.
Oceania Dairy’s Human Resources Manager, Tony Macfarlane, has welcomed the opportunity to work with Aoraki Polytechnic to train and upskill new and current staff.
“Our total staff number will be well in excess of 200 within the next five years,” he said.
“To be able to partner with a local specialist who can deliver a wide-range of educational and training services is important to the continued growth of a skilled workforce,” he said.
Yili is China’s largest dairy company and one of the top ten dairy companies in the world, with 2013 revenue of US$7.6 billion.
On opening the Glenavy dairy plant recently, Yili Chairman Mr Pan Gang said the dairy factory was ideally positioned to help meet the growing Chinese demand for milk.
Yili will invest a further $400 million in the Glenavy plant over the next five years.