[17 September/Farmers Weekly]

Taratahi Agriculture Institute Chief Executive, Arthur Graves, said many students who were attracted to the agriculture sector came from backgrounds outside the traditional workforce pool. This has prompted training providers to rethink how they recruit and train young people. Taratahi has changed its programmes to add more personal development and was working closely with schools. Mr Graves said employers needed to think and treat staff as an investment and not a cost. Primary ITO Chief Executive, Linda Sissons, said just 4 percent of NZ students go into apprenticeships. She added school prepared students for universities and polytechnics rather than vocational careers. Primary ITO had 7,700 dairy trainees, 6,185 in horticulture, 5,800 in meat processing, and 1,100 in sheep and beef. About 100 of these were the newly launched apprenticeships with Federated Farmers. The demographic of Taratahi had changed greatly from what it was a generation ago.