New Agri Futures school programme launched to boost students’ skills

Westpac Agri Futures in association with Property Brokers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is launching an in-school programme at Feilding High School and Palmerston North Boys’ High School to boost students’ agri-skills.

The pilot programme will use a combination of tools, technology, champions, influencers and culminate in an event where rangatahi demonstrate their new found skills  – thanks to the New Zealand Rural Games Trust.

Farm 4 Life founder Tangaroa Walker along with world champion shearer Rowland Smith and others, will lead students through activities required for them to achieve NCEA level 1 and 2 credits. They’ll also meet and hang out with students who will demonstrate their newly acquired skills.

The pilot is being organised by The New Zealand Rural Games Trust and is led by Feilding High School Agri teacher Kain Nixon.

“We’ve created modules to complement the curriculum,” said Kain Nixon. “We are providing Agri-teachers with quality teaching equipment from shearing hand pieces and tools to wool samples, break fence equipment and an artificial insemination demonstration model. Rangatahi will also have access to Farm 4 Life’s Hub, providing access to a multitude of instructional videos that will further expand their knowledge base and skill level.”

MPI Director Investment Skills and Performance, Cheyne Gillooly, said the aim of the pilot is to inspire and equip rangatahi across the year.

“There are tonnes of exciting and varied career opportunities available in the food and fibre sector and through this pilot programme we’ll help equip rangatahi with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed,” said Cheyne Gillooly.

The year-long programme culminates in an event where students get to demonstrate their newly earned skills and have one-on-one discussions with food and fibre sector champions on 26th and 27th October.

Westpac New Zealand Head of Agribusiness, Tim Henshaw, says the bank is working together with partners such as the New Zealand Rural Games Trust to encourage more Kiwis to enter the rural workforce.

“We need more rangatahi embarking on rural careers to meet the increasing demand for staff across the country. Through Westpac Agri Futures, we’re arming our young people with knowledge to better prepare them for the job ahead,” said Tim Henshaw.

This pilot programme has been made possible thanks to support from Heiniger, PGG Wrightson Feilding, Massey University and Lister.

The Westpac Agri Futures pilot will be featured at National Field Days at Mystery Creek and the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Canterbury later this year. Meanwhile, the annual Agri Futures careers event and Allflex Clash of the Colleges events will be held on Friday 10 March 2023 during the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North.



New Agri Futures school programme launched to boost students’ skills

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