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Primary ITO welcomed by Minister Steven Joyce

Primary ITO welcomed by Minister Steven Joyce

In Wellington last night the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Hon Steven Joyce welcomed the launch of the Primary Industry Training Organisation as an exciting new era in primary sector training.

Resulting from a merger between the Agriculture and the Horticulture ITOs, the new Primary ITO will also be responsible for Water Industry Training, Equine Industry Training and NZ Sports Turf training.

In his address to key industry stakeholders, the Minister said he believed the merger aligned strongly with the government’s Business Growth Agenda. The latest progress report titled ‘Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces’ states that a skilled workforce is the engine room of a thriving economy. The report goes on to say that matching skills training to employers needs will become more critical as the global labour market becomes more competitive. So it’s more pertinent than ever that the Primary ITO launches to ensure a high level of training across the primary sector industries.

The report also refers to the reconfiguration of the ITO sector into larger, more capable organisations to better meet the needs of employers.

Newly appointed Chair of the Primary ITO Board, Cliff Tipler, believes the new ITO is crucial to developing exceptional workers who will support the profitability, productivity and sustainability of New Zealand’s most important industry.

“The primary sector has been a key part of New Zealand’s growth story for a long time, and continues to contribute enormously today. Agricultural and horticultural products account for 40% of New Zealand’s exports. I truly believe its people who are the driving force behind the primary industry. The people who are out there working hard, whether they’re a dairy farmer in the Waikato or a grape grower in the Hawke’s Bay, they are the very heart of the sector.”

“We must invest in the skills and knowledge of our people to ensure the primary sector continues to thrive,” says Cliff.

Primary ITO Chief Executive Kevin Bryant echoes Cliff’s words.

“A stronger, larger ITO will bring efficiencies, benefits and opportunities that would have not been possible under the previous structure. There’ll be more resources for training, better quality training and better outcomes.”

About Primary ITO
On the 1st of October 2012, the Agriculture and Horticulture ITOs were merged to form the Primary Industry Training Organisation. The Primary ITO is also responsible for Water Industry Training, Equine Industry Training and NZ Sports Turf training making it one of the largest ITOs in New Zealand.

Primary ITO provides leadership in education and training, develops national qualifications, maintains national standards and provides ongoing support for their trainees and employers. Primary ITO training is subsidised by industry and Government.

For more information on Primary ITO please go to and for more information on AgITO qualifications please go to


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