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Apple Industry Welcomes Announcement Of New Centre Of Vocational Excellence (CoVE)

NZ Apple and Pears Inc (NZAPI), the representative industry body, today welcomed the government’s announcement that one of two Food and Fibre CoVE will be housed in Hawke’s Bay, one of the country’s most significant primary sector regions and the country’s largest apple producing region.

CoVE will deliver an industry-led approach to vocational education for the primary sector and is expected to improve vocational education to build skills in the industry for a sustainable future. It is a key feature of the government’s vocational education reforms.

The Primary Sector CoVE will be housed at EIT (Eastern Institute of Technology) in Hawke’s Bay, one of two pilot CoVEs and chosen in response to the skills shortage and rapid technological changes in the sector; the other is construction.

“We are delighted EIT has been selected as the organisation has a long history of contributing to primary sector education,” said NZAPI CEO Alan Pollard.

“New Zealand’s post-COVID recovery will be led by the primary sector, with the horticulture sector having developed a recovery plan in partnership with government. A key part of that is having education providers with programmes of study that deliver what industry needs, with the right skills across a range of disciplines. We need to attract people to the industry, retain them and develop them through high quality and relevant education pathways,” adds Mr Pollard.

NZAPI capability development manager Erin Simpson has been appointed to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Skills Leadership Group, one of 15 Groups established by the government in collaboration with regional partners to identify and support better ways of meeting future skills and workforce needs.

“The health, wealth and wellbeing of provincial New Zealand depends on its primary sector,” says Mr Simpson. “Vocational education reform will deliver significant benefits to our sector and to the primary sector generally. Industry-led education programmes create opportunities for locals to become part of the country’s success story.”

CoVE will focus on attracting and retaining learners and staff, defining vocational excellence and embed specialised projects across the regions and sectors.

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