A Hamilton independent secondary school says it's responding to the needs of the agricultural sector by pioneering courses specifically designed for careers in agri-business.
St Paul's Collegiate School is running agribusiness courses at NCEA level 2 and level 3.
The assistant headmaster responsible for academic programmes, Peter Hampton, says these will be the first structured programmes in New Zealand secondary schools that promote careers in agribusiness.
He says the courses are designed to attract students capable of going on to tertiary study.
"There's a gap at the senior level where the tertiary capable students are and figures that we have done in conjunction with DairyNZ and Beef and Lamb show there are round about 1200 graduates are required for the sector each year and currently there are about 250 coming out of our universities".
Mr Hampton says St Paul's Collegiate has set up a sector group to advise the school on what is needed in the industry.
St Paul's Collegiate hopes to fine-tune the course over the next few years and then run it out nationally by 2017.