Good luck or good planning?
Is it luck that sees people rise to the top of the horticulture talent pool? The truth is a lot of deliberate planning goes into achieving success.
Right now, New Zealand’s horticulture sector needs to plan, and invest in, its future workforce to ensure we keep achieving on the national and international stage. People have a brilliant opportunity to embark on a career that’s environmentally sustainable, socially responsible and will help them provide top quality nutrition to the world.
NZ horticulture is big business, and we’re growing fast. But we need qualified, capable people ready to grow with it. Primary ITO has recently partnered with industry to offer five new apprenticeships across horticulture production; fruit production, indoor crop protection, outdoor vegetable production, nursery production and post-harvest.
So, how will this apprenticeship programme benefit our industry? Investing in apprentices is the best way to ensure we can fill future management roles in horticulture which are evolving and becoming increasingly advanced in terms of technology and global consumer demands. An apprenticeship in horticulture production provides a solid career pathway for people to follow. It offers security in the form of structured, sound and reliable training and shows a commitment on behalf of both employers and the apprentices themselves to working in the industry. Not only will it attract newcomers and upskill them, it will also help employers retain the staff they currently have. People often feel overlooked and undervalued in the workplace. But putting formal apprenticeship training in place will help support, develop, progress and challenge them by broadening their knowledge and giving them opportunities to learn on the job.
The reality is an apprentice becomes more and more valuable every day. They learn the theoretical concepts behind everyday work tasks and delve into a broad range of subjects including plant botany, pests and diseases.
The apprenticeship in horticulture production comprises Level 3 and 4 papers, the more advanced of which look at leadership, supervision and examine business operations in detail. So by the end of the three-year course, your apprentice will be ready to take on more responsibility and perhaps even a management role depending on the size of your operation.
Employers can learn a lot from being involved in the programme too. Primary ITO runs a “train the trainer” course to support employers and help them get alongside their apprentices and respond to their different learning needs. There may be someone within your organisation who loves to teach others, and putting them into a trainer role will greatly enhance their job satisfaction.
Each unit standard is also linked to industry standard operating procedures (SOP), which is extremely useful if there’s an area of your business where you don’t have an SOP already in place. These can be used as a foundation for introducing appropriate protocols into your workplace which you might not otherwise have had the time or resources to implement.
In a nutshell (no pun intended), today’s apprentices will become tomorrow’s future leaders. And let’s face it, we all want industry stars on our team.
Don’t leave it to luck or chance.
Employers who want to plan now for future success can visit www. letsgrow.co.nz to find out more information about the apprenticeship in horticulture production.
There may be someone within your organisation who loves to teach others, and putting them into a trainer role will greatly enhance their job satisfaction.