Agriculture 2022 training flexible to student needs   

16 December 2021

Tai Poutini Polytechnic is next year extending a new collaboration with the Primary ITO that makes it easier and more flexible for agriculture students to learn their trade and get working.

The partnership was launched at the start of 2021 as a collaboration under the new Te Pūkenga national vocational education model. The key difference for West Coast learners is that they would be able to seamlessly move between learning at the polytechnic, to on the job, or back to the polytechnic without disrupting their studies.  

Tai Poutini Polytechnic Manager Teaching and Learning Peter O’Sullivan says the programme has been designed to enable and encourage students to transition into full time employment when they are ready, and to complete their studies as farm‐based learners

“This is a great example of how we can pursue new ideas and partnerships under our new national education model. We want to be innovative and respond to industry, and we’ll continue to adapt and change along the way as we learn from new approaches,” he says.

The Polytechnic’s Agriculture programme covers the basics of farm and animal management, including operating farm machinery, key maintenance jobs like fencing, and a strong focus on health and safety on the farm.

“As with all the trade industries around the West Coast right now, farmers are always looking for good staff who have a basic understanding of the job and can get to work straight away. Our graduates are well‐regarded for the grounding they have in key farm jobs and health and safety.

“The introduction of our partnership with Primary ITO earlier this year provided a way to support farming students as they transition from study to work. This partnership will be refined and continue in 2022, allowing us to jointly support students as they respond to work opportunities,” he says.

As part of the pilot programme, Primary ITO’s local West Coast Training Adviser is now based at the polytechnic Greymouth campus, further supporting the development of learning pathways and engagement with local students and high schools.

Enrolments are now open for Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s 2022 Agriculture training: Agriculture (Dairy Farming) (Level 3) » Tai Poutini Polytechnic (

For more information contact:

Mequa Hourston, Leader - Engagement
DDI: 03 7699 405 | Mobile: 027 237 5844 | email: