New Dairy Processing programmes offer more flexibility

13 November 2023

Primary ITO | Te Pūkenga has launched two new training programmes for Dairy Processing that contain essential knowledge for people working in the diverse range of businesses in this sector.

Dairy exports contributed $18.6 billion to the New Zealand economy in 2021*, representing 23% of total export values in what is an innovative industry that requires stringent food safety measures and has an increasing focus on environmental sustainability.  

Developed with industry input, the new training programmes contain essential knowledge on areas including food safety, equipment maintenance, and sustainability, to grow the skills of people working in operations including powder processing, milk treatment, collection and packing, and the production of cheese, ice-cream, cultured dairy products, nutritional products, consumer beverages and more. 

A key benefit of the new programmes is they have fewer compulsory modules and significantly more optional topics, enabling businesses to adapt the training to their specific dairy processing operation. Learners complete the programmes in the workplace, with the support of Primary ITO Training Advisers and on-site training supervisors and assessors. 

The New Zealand Certificate in Dairy Processing Level 3 is suitable for a relatively new employee with three to six months of experience in a processing plant. It has eight compulsory topics that cover essential knowledge, along with 16 optional topics that enable a business to pick and choose to suit their operation. New optional topics include environmental processes, food safety using Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems, carrying out routine maintenance and process improvements. This programme takes 14-16 months to complete. 

The New Zealand Certificate in Dairy Processing Level 4 is the next step for someone in a lead operator or similar role, with two to three years’ experience. It has six compulsory topics covering essential food safety, environmental and business processes. There are more than 30 optional topics which include new modules to suit various dairy processes, alongside business operations knowledge such as inventory checks, quality and automated systems, and product storage. This programme takes 13-16 months to complete. 

The two programmes can also be completed together as an apprenticeship. 

“The big advantage of these new programmes is the ability for businesses to tailor the training to suit their operation. The programmes cover a lot of unique processes with an increased focus on maintenance and sustainability, which are critical to delivering product on time,” says Alwyn Redhead, Sector Manager Dairy Processing. 

“These programmes will enable your staff to make quicker and better decisions that will positively impact deadlines and the bottom line of your operation. As an employer, you will have confidence in the fact that your staff have the food safety knowledge that is so important to a dairy processing operation.” 

The government’s Apprenticeship Boost subsidy is also available until December 2024 for employers taking on an apprentice. Find out more here.

For more information or to enrol your team, complete the contact form below and we’ll connect you with your local dairy processing Training Adviser. 

*Source: The Treasury