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New Farm Training Partnership Hits Southland

New Farm Training Partnership Hits Southland

Recently the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) formally confirmed the partnership with Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, to deliver agricultural training to Southlanders starting in September 2014.

SIT, Taratahi and Venture Southland have been working on this exciting new initiative. Venture Southland has been involved in research which has recognised the need for additional training opportunities in Southland. The recent report which surveyed Year 10 students showed that males in Year 10 ranked the agricultural sector as the top career option and females ranked the sector as the second most preferred option. Venture Southland and SIT recognised that vocational agricultural training could be enhanced in the region and that programmes needed to be introduced to meet the needs of learners who are interested in a wide range of careers in the agricultural sector.

From September Taratahi will deliver the National Certificate in Agriculture (General Skills) (Level 2) and a STAR programme will be offered through SIT’s flexible distance learning unit SIT2LRN. It is expected that in 2015 another programme, the National Certificate in Farming Skills (Work Ready) (Level 3) will also be available to Southlanders.

SIT CEO, Penny Simmonds believes this new partnership will enhance existing connections they have with other training organisations. “This new partnership is another positive step towards providing the people of Southland with even more training opportunities in the agricultural sector.”

“Having Taratahi on board will be hugely beneficial for our future students. Taratahi has been training New Zealanders in the agricultural industry for 95 years and their philosophy of ‘real training on real farms’ brings a unique element to the students learning experience,” says Penny.

SIT is also in the process of developing a Diploma in AgriBusiness Management, which they hope to have ready for flexible delivery in 2015.

Taratahi CEO, Dr Donovan Wearing is pleased that the partnership has been confirmed. “New Zealand needs an additional 1100 farm workers each year to address the skills shortage that the industry is experiencing. By 2025 MPI estimates that New Zealand will need 93,000 additional skilled workers in the primary sector and over 80% in vocational areas. We work very hard to make sure we are helping to address the skills shortage of the scale required, by training skilled students with a top attitude and aptitude.”

For more information please contact SIT at 0800 4 0 Fees or email

In August 2014 Taratahi won the ‘Primary ITO Trainer of the Year’ award at the beef+lamb NZ Industry Awards.

Taratahi has been successfully training Kiwis for agricultural careers since 1919.

Taratahi’s own assets or assets they manage on behalf of others, now equate to over $100m. Taratahi has 50,000 stock units of sheep, beef and deer and milk 3250 cows per year.

Taratahi offers full-time courses, diploma programmes, extra mural study, short courses and STAR/Gateway programmes as well as the Primary Industries Trades Academy. The main campus is based near Masterton in the Wairarapa, with non-residential campuses in Northland, Rodney, Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay.

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