The announcement of up to 4000 more trades training places in schools will help meet demand from students to learn about farming and horticulture, Primary ITO chief executive Nigel Philpott says.
The Government will fund 2000 more Trades Academy places, where secondary students combine full-time study with experience in the workplace, as well as up to 2000 Gateway places, where students have job placements along with classroom learning. The Trades Academies are across a number of sectors.
Primary ITO currently has New Zealand’s biggest Trades Academy, with approximately 830 students, and Mr Philpott says schools have asked for nearly 1100 Trades Academy places for next year.
“We know there is strong demand for a place in our Trades Academy. We’ve had to say sorry to some students and schools because we’ve reached the cap of the funding we receive, so the increase is very welcome.
“New Zealand needs more skilled and innovative people in the primary sector, and the Trades Academy and Gateway programmes are a great way of introducing secondary school students to a career.”
Mr Philpott says it was good to note that agriculture was specifically noted by the Government as an area for trades training.
“It’s a great signal that there’s a bright future in the sector. The Trades Academy and Gateway help improve the connection between the world of work and the world of school. It gives us more opportunity to grow the pipeline of people in the primary sector.”
The Trades Academy is partly led by teachers in schools, supported by Primary ITO, and partly by a network of Primary ITO tutors around the country.
Primary ITO National Manager Future Pathways Anne Benson expects strong interest following the announcement of the increase. “I think we will be having a lot of schools calling us now and asking for more places.”
Media: Colin Marshall, Primary ITO Communications Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 286 0737.
About Primary ITO
The Primary Industry Training Organisation is charged with leading the training of people in our largest export sector. We have 22,000 people in training. The sector is growing and our need for skilled workers has never been higher. To succeed, people in our primary sector must reflect the impeccable standards of food safety, produced with low carbon sustainable production practices, and the highest standards of animal and fish welfare that both society and the world expect of us.