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UCOL dons gumboots for new programme

05 July 2012

UCOL and Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre have joined forces to provide ‘real training on real farms’ with the introduction of the Certificate in General Farm Skills this year.


The new partnership combines UCOL’s well-established student support services with Taratahi’s 93 years of rural teaching experience. Taratahi, based in Wairarapa, runs similar courses in Taranaki, Hawke's Bay and Northland.


The Certificate in General Farm Skills will initially be based at UCOL’s Manfeild training centre and include practical hands-on learning at a number of rural properties throughout the Manawatu.


The intensive 12 week programme will be taught by an experienced and qualified tutor well versed in farming practices and covers core technical skills such as chainsaws, quad bikes, motorbikes and fencing. Health and Safety requirements are integrated into the programme and all safety equipment is supplied. Next year will see the addition of other key farming skills added into the mix.


This Level 3 programme combines theory, technical skills and practical farm work. UCOL Dean of Trades and Technology Kelly Gay says, “This helps the students to get a good mix of essential skills and knowledge in the classroom, in the workshop and on the farm.”


Taratahi’s ‘real training on real farms’ philosophy works with the support of local farmers allowing students with their tutor access to, and experience on, a variety of farms.


MP for Rangitikei Ian McKelvie says he is delighted to see UCOL and Taratahi providing the Farm Skills Programme at Manfeild Park in the heart of the Rangitikei Electorate. “It is a great opportunity for those in our region to acquire the skills needed to achieve employment in New Zealand’s biggest and most exciting industry.”


Manawatu/Rangitikei President of Federated Farmers Andrew Hoggard agrees and says, “New Zealand’s future prosperity is heavily dependent on agriculture. The sector is crying out for skilled and motivated staff.”


Next year, UCOL and Taratahi’s agricultural programme will be expanded to include the National Certificate in Farming Skills (Work Ready), Level 3. In addition to gaining general farm skills, this one year programme covers the skills needed throughout a full farming calendar, such as the theory and practices of stock handling and management, pasture production and feeding. It is the ideal programme for people wanting a career in the agricultural industry.


The Certificate in General Farm Skills programme is aimed at people aged 16 years and over. It will be of interest to people who are looking for work, have their own lifestyle block or just want to learn some new agricultural skills.


Rural experience is not required.  


Find out more by contacting UCOL on 0800 GO UCOL or Taratahi on 0800 827 2824.

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