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Primary industry training organisations launch Trade Academy

9 February 2011

Primary industry training organisations launch New Zealand Trade Academy

The New Zealand Trade Academy was launched at Lytton High School, Gisborne, on Friday, 4 February.

The New Zealand Trade Academy is a joint programme for secondary schools developed by the Forestry, Horticulture and Agriculture Industry Training Organisations (ITOs). Over the past 12 months a project team from the three ITOs has worked closely with the Ministry of Education and eight partner schools to create the academy.

The New Zealand Trade Academy combines classroom study with on the job learning and will create a solid foundation for young people to enhance their educational outcomes and employment opportunities. Students who participate will study core subjects in school as well as gain work experience in their chosen industry.

“Our education system provides well for students who are academically inclined,” Agriculture ITO Chief Executive, Kevin Bryant, said. “It does not cater well for the needs of students who enjoy hands on learning. The Trade Academy will provide for students who will excel in a vocational learning environment.”

In Year 11, exposure to primary industries will consist mainly of field visits and group work experience. In Years 12 and 13 students will have work placements with employers in their chosen primary industry.

Participants will receive a basic grounding in industry skills and achieve their NCEA whilst also preparing for their career through the achievement of nationally recognised industry qualifications.

The initial programme is restricted to 150 students enrolled at eight partner schools but there are plans to expand the academy nationwide.

The New Zealand Trade Academy has wide reaching benefits for students, industry and education policy. It will provide the primary industries with quality young people armed with the entry level skills employers need. It acknowledges the importance of the primary sectors to New Zealand by creating a pathway for students to transition, work ready, from school into the primary sector.

“The primary industries are vital to our national economy, accounting for over 60% of the country’s exports. It is important to attract more of our young people to these industries to fill shortages of skilled labour,” Kevin Bryant said.

“Many young people arrive at a farm or forest ‘green’ and employers may be reluctant to offer them a job,” Kevin said. “Students graduating from the trade academy will already have pre-employment skills and will have spent time learning and training in the industry, making them very employable.”

For more information about the New Zealand Trade Academy, please visit


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