Trades Academy and Gateway

We help students to take their first steps towards an exciting career in the primary industry, and support schools too.

We help students work towards qualifications that will set them up for success as they prepare to enter the workforce.

We’re also committed to supporting teachers and careers advisers with information, tools, and resources about careers in the primary industry.

Our role

Our Future Pathways team works with schools and industry to ensure we provide relevant information and education for students who are interested in the primary industries.

Once students leave school, we encourage them to transition into employment or further education.

Our focus is on successful and meaningful education, which means we: 

  • deliver primary industries learning in a relevant context
  • work with students to encourage them to achieve NCEA Level 2 and Level 3
  • increase retention of students in education
  • assist students to successfully transition into further education, apprenticeships or employment.


Training for years 11 to 13.

Our Gateway programme includes theory and practical unit standards for students in Years 11 to 13. Students reinforce theory work with real-life industry work experience, providing a taste of the different sectors within the primary sector and what a career in the primary sector is truly like.

Currently, we offer packages of learning across:

  • dairy farming
  • horticulture
  • hard landscaping
  • seafood
  • sheep and beef farming
  • arboriculture
  • primary sector
  • sports turf
  • pest eradication. 

We provide services to schools 

As part of our Gateway programme, we offer the following services to schools:

  • comprehensive learning and resource packages for school students
  • help for schools to connect to local industry employers for work placements
  • support for students to make career decisions.

We can help students gain industry placements

As part of our Gateway programme, we may be able to help place your students in a primary industry business.

We have the contacts and knowledge to help match a student to the right work placement. This work placement may lead to future employment within the primary sector, possibly within the same workplace.

Find out more and get involved!

Email us or download our brochure for more information and to find out how your school can get involved.

Email: [email protected]

Trades Academy

Are you interested in a programme that will give your students a kickstart towards an exciting career in primary industries?

Our Trades Academy is a secondary-tertiary programme (STP) that provides senior secondary students with a broad range of learning opportunities in primary industries. The programme is based on a partnership between schools and the Primary ITO and delivers: 

  • a coherent NCEA level 2 (or equivalent) qualification 
  • a programme which leads to the NZ Certificate in Primary Industry Skills (Level 2) 

All schools involved in the Trades Academy deliver the Trades Academy Primary Industry Skills (Level 2). The programme aims to give students the practical skills and theoretical knowledge that will help them make informed choices about their career options in primary industries. Students gain transferable literacy and numeracy skills. They also gain work-ready skills through practical training in realistic working environments.

Students can also complete a Level 3 programme that may enable them to move into an apprenticeship in their chosen sector.

Get involved!  

Email us if you’re interested in getting your school involved with the Trades Academy, or download our prospectus below to learn more.

Email: [email protected]

Ministry and Primary ITO working to support school and wharekura

In early 2022 the Future Pathways Team worked with the Ministry of Education (MOE) on a research project that focused on learning more about how the MOE can support schools and wharekura to deliver Achievement Standards and curriculum-based learning in a way that brings pathways and the world of work to the fore.

The MOE visited our Trades Academy students at Palmerston North Boys High School, Geraldine High School and Te Wharekura o Ruatoki to learn about their unique learning contexts, what works well for them in integrating industry and curriculum learning, what challenges they face, and how they might be best placed to assist them in building on the excellent work that they are already doing.