[10 August/Rural News]

According to Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, horticulture offered a pathway to a better future for thousands of New Zealanders. He added the industry predicted it would need 25,000 more workers, and the announcement of 100 new horticultural apprenticeships was a good start. He noted agriculture offered opportunities to make money and add to New Zealand’s growth. Mr O’Connor said the apprenticeships were for people who could see a pathway into management positions. He raised the issue of how we would incentivise people to take part in the scheme. He promised a shake-up of the whole tertiary education sector. The new apprenticeships were offered by Primary ITO with support from employers and off-the-job training institutes. Primary ITO Chief Executive, Linda Sissons, said the support system enabled them to achieve success and become the leaders of the future. Details of the scheme can be found online.