Un­der the Mikero­scope

Train­ing for our fu­ture

The Orchardist - - Contents - Mike Chap­man is chief ex­ec­u­tive of Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand

Over­see­ing this is the Hor­ti­cul­ture Ca­pa­bil­ity Group (HCG), made up of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from New Zealand Ki­wifruit Growers, New Zealand Ap­ples & Pears, NZ Av­o­cado Growers As­so­ci­a­tion, Veg­eta­bles New Zealand, the Hawke’s Bay Fruit Growers As­so­ci­a­tion and Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand.

The group has been ac­tive in re-estab­lish­ing hor­ti­cul­ture ap­pren­tice­ships, through the Pri­mary In­dus­try Train­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ITO). The ap­pren­tice­ship scheme was launched by Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Damien O’Connor at the Hor­ti­cul­tural Con­fer­ence, on July 24. There is also work be­ing done with Massey Univer­sity to hope­fully re­in­state the hor­ti­cul­ture de­gree and pro­gres­sively pro­vide a suite of mi­cro-cre­den­tials (short cour­ses) from 2019. Get­ting both the ap­pren­tice­ships and de­gree course es­tab­lished have been truly col­lab­o­ra­tive in­dus­try ef­forts, but Erin Simp­son from NZ Ap­ples & Pears has done an ex­cep­tional job, well sup­ported by Thomas Per­e­nara from the Min­istry of Busi­ness, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment (MBIE).

To en­sure a sup­ply of can­di­dates for both the ap­pren­tice­ships and the de­gree, the HCG has es­tab­lished a po­si­tion in Gis­borne to chan­nel peo­ple into th­ese ca­reer pro­grammes and place them with in­dus­try dur­ing their train­ing. This has been funded with sup­port from the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment and through the Provin­cial Growth Fund. There has been fund­ing ap­proval for a sim­i­lar po­si­tion in North­land. Ap­pli­ca­tions are un­der­way to cre­ate sim­i­lar po­si­tions in the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Nel­son and Marl­bor­ough, and Cen­tral Otago. There would also be a co-or­di­na­tor po­si­tion at Massey Univer­sity. Plus there is a pipe­line be­ing es­tab­lished with Can­ter­bury growers, though the Pri­mary ITO, into hor­ti­cul­ture ap­pren­tice­ships.

The Pri­mary ITO and HCG have de­vel­oped a busi­ness case for the Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion to pro­vide ad­di­tional fund­ing for hor­ti­cul­ture ap­pren­tice­ships to up­grade the pro­gramme into a world class and best prac­tice ap­pren­tice­ship.

Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand has pub­lished a re­port pre­pared by Deloitte about the value of the Pukekohe grow­ing hub. Us­ing the Trea­sury’s liv­ing stan­dards frame­work, Deloitte has mea­sured the eco­nomic value of the Pukekohe grow­ing hub to both Auck­land and New Zealand. This re­port was launched by Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Damien O’Connor on Au­gust 14 at an event at Par­lia­ment.The full re­port and a sum­mary ver­sion are on the HortNZ web­site (www.hortnz.co.nz) for down­load­ing.

The liv­ing stan­dards frame­work draws on the con­cept of fos­ter­ing holis­tic well­be­ing through re­port­ing on the growth and dis­tri­bu­tion of four in­ter­de­pen­dent cap­i­tals: so­cial; fi­nan­cial; hu­man and nat­u­ral cap­i­tal. Fi­nance Min­is­ter, Grant Robert­son, has said the Gov­ern­ment will use the liv­ing stan­dards frame­work to de­velop the world’s first well­be­ing Bud­get in 2019, to mea­sure the coun­try’s suc­cess in a holis­tic way. The hu­man cap­i­tal as­pects of the Deloitte re­port are di­rectly rel­e­vant to the em­ploy­ment of New Zealan­ders and will in­form the work be­ing un­der­taken by the HCG.

Deloitte rec­om­mends six ac­tions. One is in­creased use of tech­nol­ogy to man­age the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of crop­ping within en­vi­ron­men­tal lim­its. An­other rec­om­men­da­tion is more fund­ing and in­vest­ment in hor­ti­cul­ture ed­u­ca­tion to pro­vide for, and at­tract, skilled tal­ent into the in­dus­try. Both are ar­eas be­ing worked on through the HCG.

Fund­ing sup­port for the HCG is pro­vided by the or­gan­i­sa­tions in­volved in it, with HortNZ’s fund­ing com­ing from the levy. The six-yearly levy ref­er­en­dum has been com­pleted and has as­sured con­tin­ued fund­ing of this and other HortNZ ac­tiv­i­ties with a yes vote from 89.69 per­cent of growers who voted and by value 92.01 per­cent. Thank you for all of you who voted.

“To en­sure a sup­ply of can­di­dates for both the ap­pren­tice­ships and the de­gree, the HCG has es­tab­lished a po­si­tion in Gis­borne to chan­nel peo­ple into th­ese ca­reer pro­grammes and place them with in­dus­try dur­ing their train­ing.”

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