Primary ITO welcomes new CoVE to deliver excellence in food and fibre sectors

3 September 2020

Primary ITO chief executive Nigel Philpott says a new Centre of Vocational Excellence will be a welcome addition to the primary sector learning ecosystem.

The new Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) announced today aims to deliver an industry-led approach to vocational education for the primary sector.

The Food and Fibre CoVE Consortium, a collaboration involving 54 organisations across the entire food and fibre sector, will establish the Centre, which is a key feature of the Government’s vocational education reforms.

Primary ITO is part of the consortium and Nigel says the CoVE aims to capitalise on strengths across the sector.

“We really support the CoVE and it’s a great chance to drive forward the change needed in vocational education for our industries. Bringing people together from across the primary sector means we can partner and collaborate on the training that people and businesses need.

“Our industries are constantly evolving, so working together is an opportunity to develop new ways of doing things. In Hastings, Primary ITO staff have moved into office space at the Eastern Institute of Technology and that will be another way our organisations can work together to get the best results for primary sector learners.”

Jeremy Baker, the Consortium chair, says the CoVE is expected to improve vocational education to build skills in the industry for a sustainable future.

“The CoVE is a significant achievement. It shows an unprecedented level of collaboration within the food and fibre sector.

“This is a decisive step forward in the partnership between the food and fibre sectors and government. The Food and Fibre CoVE will be learner-focused, led by industry and enabled by government."

Jeremy says the CoVE’s intention is to build excellence by focusing on the success of learners, industry, and education.

“The food and fibre sectors are the backbone of communities nationwide, as well as New Zealand’s economy. For these reasons, we need to maintain our international reputation for high quality and sustainable food and fibre exports. This success depends on our people, their capabilities, innovation and teamwork.

“Maintaining our reputation and growing our contribution requires a skilled workforce and excellent workplaces. A new range of skills will be essential to take advantage of future opportunities and meet future challenges.

“All members of the Food and Fibre CoVE are excited to get started helping build an education and training system that is responsive and fit-for-purpose.”

The CoVE Consortium, formed from the Food and Fibre Skills Establishment Group, is a collaboration of organisations across the entire food and fibre sector including industry associations, tertiary providers, Māori, employers, employees, and standard setting bodies.

The CoVE will be hosted by the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology through its subsidiary, the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in the Hawke’s Bay.

 Food and Fibre CoVE will focus on:

Attracting and retaining learners and staff – from school to vocational education, to higher learning, and in the workforce.

Defining vocational excellence – explore and identify excellence in food and fibre vocational education, locally and internationally, focused on learner and employer success and satisfaction.

Specialised projects – test and embed new ideas, innovations, and specialised opportunities from across the regions and sectors.


For media:

Colin Marshall 027 286 0737 Primary ITO Communications Manager