Outdoor crop production apprenticeships and training

1 November 2023

New Primary ITO | Te Pūkenga training programmes for Outdoor Crop Production provide essential knowledge on irrigation systems and the efficient use of resources throughout the production cycle.

Industry was involved in the development of the new training programmes, which take into account the latest regulatory requirements around water usage. The training programmes include new topics, core knowledge, and some optional modules, so the training can be adapted to suit individual operations.

The New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Production – Outdoor Crop Level 3 is ideal for someone with around one year of industry experience. New topics include maintaining and repairing irrigation systems, preparation and use of fertilizer, and weather prediction and micro-climate characteristics. Other core topics include monitoring crop health for pests and disease, packing and storage of produce, and the safe use of agrichemicals.

“This programme provides a really good knowledge base for outdoor production,” says Hamish Gordon, Primary ITO Sector Manager for Production Horticulture. “It covers lots of key areas, with knowledge for people working in field planning, managing people and systems, and considering compliance and market access requirements.”

The New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Production – Outdoor Crop Level 4 is the next step for someone with a few years’ industry experience. New topics include essential communications skills for people leading teams and supervising staff, and knowledge of water conservation in a horticulture operation. Core topics include implementing and monitoring outdoor vegetable crop production activities to achieve production goals and standards.

“The Level 4 programme provides a more in-depth understanding of why things are done a certain way and how it relates to the learner’s individual production site. They get to apply the learning to their own systems to gain a better understanding,” Hamish says.

Learners participate in a small number of off-job training days, depending on the learning modules selected.

The Level 3 and Level 4 programmes can also be combined and completed as an apprenticeship.

“Our Training Advisers are happy to come and discuss these programmes with you, to give you a full understanding of how they work and what’s involved,” Hamish says.

For more information on these programmes, get in touch with your local Training Adviser by filling in the form below.