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Training Sector Update

Posted By Jo Pentreath | July 18, 2021

There are several assessments due in this week, so to some degree it is crunch time. A few trainees are struggling with their workloads. I know when I visit, that many managers are totally supportive of their trainees and are prepared to give them time and space at work. In many cases it is just a matter of the trainee asking for help. EIT tutors really appreciate this support. I have started some visits to keep you in the loop but I will have a better picture of who needs extra support after marking this week’s assessment submissions.

Year 1 Trainees have now completed fruit support structures and now in smaller groups are completing chainsaw training. With the time we have available, Warren can sign off the practical components to a capable level but managers need to give their trainees a reasonable amount of experience on job to be signed off at the outstanding or accomplished levels.

Year 2 Trainees have the soils assessment due in this week at the tutorial. As they have had some class time to do this assessment, I am expecting some high class work. Additionally, they have a practical to complete which involves applying some sort of soil management technique. Examples could be fertilising, applying lime, drainage, rotary hoeing and many others. It is mostly an on job assessment so please discuss with your trainee what they can do.

Quite a few trainees have completed their harvest criteria assessment but do not yet have a final grade because they do not have the small on job attestation for the health and safety component.

Year 3 Trainees also have an assessment due in this week, namely pruning. Part of this assessment involves interviewing their manager about new training techniques. If this has not been done then they have not completed their work. So please ask them about it. The last of the Human Resource assessment is also due.

In preparation for the next course they have a task to complete called the Visual Soil Assessment. This involves them digging a small soil pit and assessing the characteristics of the soil for its health. It is a cheap and useful method that can be applied to all soil types and land uses. Analysing their Visual Soil Assessment results is part of their assessment for the Growing Environment course.

Fruit Production Diploma. The Crop Production course was taught by Dave Tanner of Startafresh. Dave is a plant physiologist and he is an expert in bridging the gap between the production side and the post harvest side of the apple industry. Highlights of the course were looking at the new Craigmore development in Central Hawke’s Bay and the intense plantings (11,000 trees per ha) of the FreshCo Riverside block. The intensification and new developments are certainly going to be challenging in a world affected by COVID-19.

This week the team are bringing a water sample to class to analyse the qualities of their drainage water. On the basis that “you can’t manage if you don’t measure” they should get a clear idea of issues to do with nitrate leaching and phosphate runoff. This knowledge will be useful when they come to do the farm plan which is part of the assessment.

As always if you have any queries or concerns please get in touch with EIT Tutor Gordon Reid  greid@eit.ac.nz , 06 8301851 or 027 3940410.

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