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Primary industry training fees-free for eligible trainees

Media release

7 December 2017

Primary industry training fees-free for eligible trainees

Two years of Primary ITO industry training will be fees-free for eligible trainees and apprentices who start in 2018.

Primary ITO Chief Executive Dr Linda Sissons says, “Those of our 600 Trades Academy or Gateway students who are leaving school at the end of this year could be some of the first to benefit from two fees-free years of industry training and be well on their way to completing an apprenticeship as a result. The Federated Farmers Apprenticeship Dairy we have teamed up on is one training option they could take up, and there are many others across our sectors, from horticulture to seafood.”

“Our trainees work and learn at the same time, so with their training fees paid every cent will go directly to them. It’s also a practical way to start growing their skills and knowledge, and to gain NZQA-recognised qualifications, as most of our learning and assessment takes place in the workplace.”

Linda says industry training is the smart choice. “Not only are many primary sector roles outside and energetic, working with animals and machinery, there’s also often the chance to work with cutting-edge technology, to be part of a great team and to keep moving up.”

“For people already in the sector who haven’t undertaken tertiary training before, it’s an opportunity to start getting some qualifications behind them at no cost. Starting the Diploma in Agribusiness Management is a great way to grow the business management skills so needed in today’s industry.”

“Fees-free is also great news for primary sector employers, providing an incentive for them to encourage their eligible staff to begin growing their skills and knowledge at no cost to either of them - which will in turn support their business to grow.”

The Ministry for Primary Industries have estimated that New Zealand will need an extra 50,000 qualified workers in the sector in the next eight years. “We hope fees-free will encourage people to join our current 28,000 Primary ITO trainees next year. Our sector needs smart, tech savvy, ambitious and innovative people as we work towards the governments target of doubling the value of our primary sector exports by 2025,” adds Linda.

For eligible industry trainees and apprentices, fees-free covers up to the first two years of their programme. To find out if you qualify to study with Primary ITO fees-free see To find out more about training with Primary ITO see or call us on 0800 20 80 20.


Additional information

• Federated Farmers Apprenticeship Dairy:

• Industry Training Federation media release: Apprentices are better off than graduates for most of their lives

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