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Primary industry merger welcomed


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Primary industry merger welcomed

DairyNZ says the merger of the agriculture and horticulture industry training organisations this month has real benefits for the dairy industry.

AgITO and Horticulture ITO have been merged to form the Primary Industry Training Organisation (Primary ITO).

The new organisation will be officially launched tonight at a celebration event in Wellington attended by Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce as well as industry representatives. The new ITO, which will also be responsible for water and equine industry training and NZ Sports Turf industry training, will facilitate on-the-job training for 15,000 employees across the primary industries.

DairyNZ strategy and investment leader for people and business, Dr Mark Paine says the merger will benefit the dairy industry and continue to ensure the supply of skilled and capable people.

“The scale of a merged industry training entity will result in greater efficiencies and the ability to get increased specialisation in some areas,” says Dr Paine.

“As a larger, single body, it will be a highly valued partner with other education providers, like universities and polytechnics, with more impact in its marketing campaigns promoting training opportunities to young people.

“Scale creates possibilities and opportunities and we want to capture those for the dairy industry, as well as keep what is already good about the current system,” he says.

DairyNZ contributes more than $2 million annually to industry training.

“AgITO has historically worked closely with DairyNZ and currently has 4,160 dairy trainees participating in on-farm training, forming the largest segment of total trainees (62 percent).

“Over the past year, there has been a 14 percent increase in the number of trainees in the dairy sector. We are confident the Primary ITO will build on this success and maintain a close relationship with DairyNZ.

“We will ensure, on behalf of dairy farmers, the customisation of industry training services to dairy is enhanced, not diminished, as a result of the merger,” says Dr Paine.


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