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Pāmu Apprenticeship Scheme Launched To Grow New Generation Of Farmers

Nine lucky school leavers passionate about farming will join Pāmu for a two-year journey into agriculture, living and working at Pāmu farm, Aratiatia near Taupō.

Launching in January 2025, the Pāmu Apprenticeship Scheme combines practical on-farm experience, academic learning, and life skills.

Apprentices can earn while they learn, gain work experience on Pāmu dairy and livestock farms, and work towards Level 3 and Level 4 NZ Certificates in Agriculture through Primary ITO.

As part of the programme, apprentices will live in shared housing, repurposed from existing infrastructure on-farm, fostering a supportive community environment as they learn to navigate life and work.

Bernadette Kelly, Chief of People, Safety, and Reputation, says a priority for Pāmu is safe and capable people.

“At Pāmu we are committed to growing and developing farmers. The Pāmu Apprenticeship Scheme is not just about training young farmers; it's about setting them up for the future. Leaving school and starting a new career is often daunting. We’ll make sure our rangatahi get the balance right between work and study, as well as ensuring they take care of themselves when living independently.

“Budgeting, shopping, meal preparation, and paying bills are all essential life skills we can assist with to ensure they are set up for success as they transition to the workforce.”

This pastoral care will be a key component of the programme, led by an Apprenticeship Scheme Manager.

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Pāmu Chief Executive, Mark Leslie says the scheme represents Pāmu interest in growing the workforce of the food and fibre sector which is a driving force for the productivity of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Investment in the food and fibre workforce generates greater returns to the nation than any other investment. Agriculture is export-led, with high productivity and significant GDP contribution per worker. With a small workforce compared to other sectors it has an outsized impact.”

Students enrolled in agriculture courses across the Central North Island, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty are eligible to apply.

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