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Primary ITO welcomes changes to apprenticeship schemes

Media release
For immediate release
Primary ITO welcomes changes to apprenticeship schemes

The Primary Industry Training Organisation (Primary ITO) welcomes the new apprenticeship initiatives announced by government following the 18-month industry training review. Primary ITO is one of the largest ITO’s in New Zealand, facilitating training in the agriculture, horticulture, equine, water and sports turf sectors.

As the primary industry is one of New Zealand’s most important sectors, investing in the skills and knowledge of our people ensures the primary sector continues to thrive. Agricultural and horticultural products account for 40% of New Zealand’s exports. Education is vital to ensuring the productivity and profitability of the primary industries.

The recently announced changes mean that Modern Apprenticeships and other apprenticeship-type training will come under an expanded and improved scheme called New Zealand Apprenticeships.

“The announcement recognises that industry training offers value-for-money and high quality training,” says Tracey Shepherd, Standard Setting General Manager, Primary ITO.

“We believe the changes are positive, for us and our trainees. In particular, we welcome the proposed increase in the funding rate for industry trainees to $3,200 per Standard Training Measure which equates to a 10% increase. This will be the first increase in funding support in five years.”

As well as a number of other changes, there will be changes to funding in relation to age limitations. The current Modern Apprenticeship scheme only provides additional support to apprentices who are aged 16 to 21 when they start their programme. There are many people over the age of 25 who are currently undertaking apprenticeships. From the beginning of 2014, there will be a single subsidy rate supporting apprentices of every age.

“We are pleased with the news the law will change to allow all New Zealanders, regardless of age, to participate in an apprenticeship,” Tracey says.

“We acknowledge the hard work put in by the Ministry of Education and many others throughout this review, and look forward to details about the changes and how they will be implemented, as they become available.”

“Our focus is on ensuring that qualifications gained through apprenticeships and industry training arm our trainees with the skills and knowledge they need for a successful, fulfilling career in the primary industry,” Tracey concludes.

The apprenticeships re-boot initiative will commence from 1 April this year. The legislative changes and remaining funding changes are scheduled to commence from 1 January 2014.


About Primary ITO
On 1 October 2012, the Agriculture and Horticulture ITOs 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 please go to

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