Women who are keen to get into farming can enrol for a free NorthTec training course designed for them.
Starting in November, it will be run by female tutors and will target women who are already working in the agriculture sector and want to develop their skills, or who want to retrain for employment purposes.
The course will be fees-free and will include two Level 3 qualifications – the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture, and the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure). This means learners can prepare for a variety of farm work without incurring a student loan.
Learners will have work placements on real farms all over Northland at locations from Oromahoe (near Kerikeri and Kaikohe) to Portland, south of Whangārei.
Students will be provided with a tool kit, wet weather gear, gumboots and leather work boots, which they will keep at the end of their studies. Training will include core agricultural skills and knowledge and include first aid, chainsaw use and Growsafe certification.
The course will incorporate advice and mentoring from female role models working in the sector, including representatives from the Dairy Women’s Network, the Ministry for Women and local female farmers and industry experts.
Jim Smith, NorthTec’s Pathway Manager for Agriculture, Forestry and Horticulture, said: “Support will be offered throughout this course in a number of ways. We have many mentors and staff available to help grow our learners’ capabilities and careers.
“We know life doesn’t stop once the course is over, so we are looking to support students with their long-term goals, from taking learners on at Level 3 and training right up to Level 5. This means we can help find solutions to barriers that might otherwise prevent people from completing the course – we have some fantastic examples of women in agriculture and we know there are more out there ready to shine.”
The programme gets under way on 23 November, and runs through until July 2021. Anyone interested in finding out more should contact tutor, Melissa Bayley, on 027 210 3599.