26 March 2020 Update
He waka eke noa - we are on this journey together.
Tēnā koutou, kia ora anō tātou
We hope all our learners, training providers, employers and industry colleagues are coping well at such a challenging time.
Like other organisations in New Zealand, we are following the new Government health guidelines for Covid-19 coronavirus to close all non-essential businesses.
Our offices across the country are now closed, in accordance with Government guidelines and to ensure we continue to protect the safety of everyone.
Our people have begun working remotely and will continue to provide service and support as we work through these uncertain times together.
For now all our Primary ITO class days are postponed until further notice. As we are 100 percent committed to your training, like true Kiwis we are thinking outside the square and looking at alternative ways to support you.
We will be in touch in the next week or so to update you on how more flexible training, education and assessment can continue for those that want it under the new "normal".
We know that many primary sector employers will be “essential businesses” and will need to continue operating during this time. It is important that we give you time to get used to the new restrictive ways of working. But, when you are ready, we are here to support your needs and we hope that learning will continue to be a possibility for you and if so, will work with you to make that happen.
Kia ora anō tātou – best wishes and stay well.
The team at Primary ITO
Questions you may have on training during Covid-19
Is my programme of study cancelled?
Your programme of study can continue. However class days have been postponed while alternative methods of delivering training are being arranged.
Why have my class days been postponed?
The food production sector is critical to our country’s prosperity and success. We know that management of Covid-19 requires us to take responsibility wherever possible to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Face-to-face class days present a significant risk to trainees, tutors and training advisers and need to be postponed.
When will my class days resume?
While we can’t say exactly when class days will start again, we will monitor the Covid-19 situation and keep you informed. In the meantime, your learning and any new enrolment can continue if that suits you, and we are currently looking at alternative methods of delivering class days.
What does alternative methods of delivering class days mean?
Initially it may be a self-directed learning approach with scheduled blocks of learning for you to complete, supported by phone and/or digital meetings (e.g. ZOOM or a similar online platform) to check in with your tutor. We will be in contact with you as soon as this is confirmed.
How will I be supported by my training adviser?
If you are currently enrolled in a course, or about to start a new course with Primary ITO, then your training adviser will make contact with you to discuss how we will support your continued learning.
How will this impact the time to complete my qualification?
While this change may have an impact on working through your programme of study, your training adviser and tutor will continue to support you as you learn. A large component of your study is on-the-job. So, where it’s appropriate for your work and personal circumstances, you can continue to work through tasks with support from your employer/verifier. This approach will help you maintain momentum with your learning journey.
I’m enrolled in the Diploma in Agribusiness Management. What does this mean for me?
Your Diploma classes are managed by your local polytechnic. They will be in touch to advise you on the status of your classes.
19 March update
We are carefully following Ministry of Health advice on Covid-19 (coronavirus). We will continue to monitor and assess the risk of Covid-19 to off-job delivery of training and how we engage with you in terms of workplace visits. We have stringent health measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of our own people and the people we work with.
The most important thing for all of us to do is to ensure we are putting in place basic hygiene measures such as:
- Hand hygiene – washing hands regularly with soap and water, or cleansing with hand sanitiser.
- Staying at home if you are sick.
- Coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and then performing hand hygiene.
- Cleaning surfaces regularly.
If you are feeling unwell and develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or contact your GP.
Primary ITO have implemented the following actions to help manage the risks associated with Covid-19.
Immediate actions in relation to class days:
- Our tutors will ensure that desks, chairs and door-handles in training rooms will be wiped down with appropriate sanitiser and that all trainees and staff will wash their hands-on arrival at the venue.
- If you are sick or feel sick, please let your training adviser know and do not attend class.
- If you have recently returned from overseas you are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Please let your training adviser know and do not attend class.
In the future if greater risk management of Covid-19 is required we may implement further steps listed below. You will be advised if any of these measures are adopted.
Potential future actions relating to class days if Covid-19 management requires:
- The use of a digital platform such as Zoom, or Skype for Business where you might join a virtual classroom. Should this be needed your tutor would set up the digital meeting space and you would be asked to ‘join’ from your digital device. Your tutor will contact you to help you understand requirements should this be required.
- The development of podcasts or webinars to deliver the learning required to ensure progression and continuity is another option being considered.
- Training may be deferred if we are not able to mitigate the risks of classroom delivery appropriately.
Update on workplace visits:
We will continue to contact you when required to arrange workplace visits (including assessments). It is likely in most cases this will continue as normal in the short-term but depending on the level of risk it may require changes to the way we engage with you. Please advise Primary ITO staff:
- If you, your colleagues, housemates or family are sick or feel sick.
- If you have recently returned from overseas and are required to self-isolate for 14-days.
In such cases the following action may be taken:
- Potential to arrange a phone, Skype/Zoom or similar digital visit.
- Potential to defer a visit until a later date.