Future Farmers get better training thanks to the PGF

Published: Jan 30, 2020

Tagged with:

  • News and announcements
  • Gisborne/Tairāwhiti

A grant of $750,792 from the Te Ara Mahi (TAM) allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund will enable a new farming training scheme to run pilots in Gisborne, Wairoa and the Wairarapa.

Stuart Ellingham, Galaxie Waihape, and Paris Robinson in front of a tree.

Growing Future Farmers Chair Stuart Ellingham pictured left with Wairoa interns Galaxie Waihape and Paris Robinson.

The Growing Future Farmers scheme aims to provide students with practical on-farm skills to complement their more formal qualifications.

“The industry is looking for graduates to enter the workplace with core practical skills combined with tools for farming in the future and we expect the programme graduates to be in high demand because of the skills and knowledge they will build through the programme,” says GFF General Manager Tamsin Jex-Blake.

Graduates of the scheme will receive a GFF Essential Farm Skills Certification as well as a level 3 NZQA qualification.

The PGF investment will go towards setting up phase one of the GFF scheme which will start with 10 students progressing through the two year programme. The programme is delivered on farms by Farm Trainers with support from educational and industry bodies.

“We have support from the Rabobank Client Council, PwC New Zealand, Farm IQ, the Eastern Institute of Technology, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, industry bodies and technical experts such as vets, soil and farm software specialists, health and safety advisers and dog trialists,” Ms Jex-Blake said.

She said the programme hopes to grow from the initial 10 students to 60 students when the Hawkes Bay, the central North Island, Canterbury and Southland regions are included in future roll outs.

“The areas we are starting with have a high number of young people who are at risk of becoming long term unemployed. We plan to bridge the gap for them between school and employment or further training.”

The farms and Farm Trainers will be accredited through a workplace audit to meet health and safety and other compliance requirements, and will be supported throughout the programme by the GFF Trust.

“We are grateful for this investment which allows us to bring the GFF initiative into operation. This is an opportunity not just for young people to get started on fulfilling careers in the primary industries but also for employers within our sector to have input into training and development to ensure future employees have the appropriate skill set,” Ms Jex-Blake said.