Keeping up with changing times – and the new Agricultural systems and equipment (level 3) program aims to help newcomers do just that.
Primary industries are thriving in the center of the North Island and UCOL is offering more courses to suit the skills employers are looking for.
Going beyond traditional textbook learning methods, the program will be delivered at a working, certified and diverse farm in Wairarapa, equipped with the latest equipment. “This is what makes our program unique,” says Bob Stewart, Portfolio Manager – Trades, Conservation and Primary Industries, UCOL. “We have used all the resources and technology we can on our ‘training farm’ in Wairarapa to give our learners practical, hands-on skills that are absolutely in demand.” The polytechnic is currently in the process of finalizing a farm training for Palmerston North, to support learners in the wider areas of Manawatū, Whanganui and Horowhenua.
UCOL started offering a variety of agricultural routes last year, following strong demand from local stakeholders and employers. Across New Zealand, it is estimated that the industry will need another 50,000 skilled workers by 2025 to meet the growing needs of our country. “The idea is simple, we focus on increasing the skills and knowledge of our learners by allowing them to do the work on a farm themselves,” Bob continues.
No two learning days are the same. To prepare for life on the farm, graduates should be able to tackle the daily management of pastures, manage livestock, manage the milk harvest, understand the latest tools of agricultural technology and conventional machines, like the good old tractors. . “The learning journey can change the lives of many people. There is definitely hard work involved, but once you get it done you would be surprised how quickly you move up the ranks in this area, ”adds Bob.
The Agricultural Systems and Equipment program, along with a number of others, is covered by the Government Targeted Training and Learning Fund (TTAF), which means that learners can participate for free. It’s an effort to make sure there aren’t any roadblocks for this booming industry, but 2022 is the last year it will be available.
This program is open to anyone, even if they have no previous knowledge or experience in the field. Over the past few years, UCOL has seen everyone from
office workers To ex-pilots
embarking on a new career in agriculture, with many learners immediately being offered jobs at local agribusiness companies.
Those who are already in agriculture and wish to hone their skills can enroll in the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Level 4) program and learn while continuing to earn money. UCOL also offers New Zealand Diploma in Business Management in Primary Industry (Level 5), which helps learners prepare for a managerial or supervisory role in industry, be it agriculture, horticulture, fishing or beekeeping.
Admissions for these programs will start in February 2022. Those wishing to know more can contact 0800 GO UCOL (0800 468 265).
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