25 Sep 2012

Primary sector training consolidates

4:08 pm on 25 September 2012

Training courses for people in the agricultural and horticultural industries will come under a single body from early October.

Agriculture and horticulture industry training organisations have been merged into the Primary ITO, and will be formally recognised by the government on 1 October.

The merged body will organise on-the-job training for 15,000 employees across the primary industries.

Chief executive Kevin Bryant says the move reflects the importance of the primary sector as a whole, and will bring greater efficiencies over time.

"By having a bigger, single entity focussing on the primary sector, it's going to be a lot easier to engage at the strategic level with both industry and Government," says Mr Bryant.

"We've got to make sure that the education and training in that part of the economy is strongly supporting industry."

Mr Bryant says there is increasing demand for training from business and farm managers who have solid experience but are without a qualification.

"If a person is going to advance as a professional manager they actually realise they do need a qualification to back up their experience."

The New Zealand Industrial Training Organisation, which oversees vocational training for the meat and dairy sectors, and the Seafood ITO were also merged earlier this year.