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First Centres of Vocational Excellence Established

By UCOL on Monday, 21 September 2020

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UCOL is looking forward to the impact of New Zealand’s first Centres of Vocational Excellence, focussed on two vital sectors to New Zealand, Construction and Primary Industries. 

Linda Sissons, Acting Chief Executive at UCOL, said UCOL is ready and willing to play a part in this new approach and extend its collaboration with industry and other education institutes who make up the Centres. “We are already leading the re-establishment of primary industries training at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre in the Wairarapa in collaboration with the Eastern Institute of Technology, industry representatives, Primary ITO and the Ministry of Primary Industries.  This boost to the primary sector is much needed, with training options designed to attract new people into careers in New Zealand’s largest export earner, and provide a real option of employment in a sector that is crying out for more people.   Taratahi is a place where practical excellence in primary sector training can thrive.”

The Primary Sector Centre for Vocational Excellence includes education providers and industry leaders including Beef+Lamb NZ, Dairy NZ, Federated Farmers, The Forestry and Wood Processing Workforce Council, NZ Apples and Pears, Seafood NZ and NZ Winegrowers, just to name a few.

“Primary Industries is the largest economic contributor in UCOL’s regions and when you combine this with the new training opportunities at Taratahi and the new Centre of Vocational Excellence, the future is really exciting.  New Zealand is an important food and fibre producer on the world stage and strengthening the approach nationally via the Centre of Excellence makes sense.”

The Centres are a new feature of the Vocational Education reforms.   The Centres will drive innovation and excellence in vocational education by strengthening the links between industry, the vocational education sector, leading researchers and communities.