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Training Sector Update

Posted By Jo Pentreath | August 16, 2021

As spring approaches there is a greater likelihood that class time is going to clash with requirements to apply chemicals. This has been a perennial problem and is at times a barrier to trainees completing their work and the programme. The apprentice boost subsidy of $1,000 per month to the employer is supposed to cover some of the costs of training including release time. Please consider this barrier to success when organising spray plans. On the other hand we know that the weather can create narrow windows so we will try and run catch up sessions for those that miss a class. To this end I am organising a catch up class for those who were not able to attend the recent weather class.

This cohort of Year 1 trainees is a bit different to previous years in that nearly half are young ladies and they are doing exceptionally well. All have now completed their chainsaw training. As an example of our flexibility, three trainees had injuries that excluded them from using a chainsaw. We have therefore organised them to slot into a forklift class that will allow them to complete the whole qualification.

Growsafe is actually not a requirement of the qualification but we believe it is important that trainees have this certificate. It is therefore offered by EIT, free of charge to those who are enrolled.

The only class left for the year 1 trainees is hydraladas which will be in September.

Year 2 trainees still have quite a heavy load to complete. Their propagation assessment is due before the end of August and the weather assignment is due at the tutorial on the 16th of September. Additionally we keep reminding our students of the weeds assignment that was given to them at the beginning of the year. This length of time is to enable them to identify, collect and control weeds at different stages of their growth.

One other on job task is to be involved in some method of managing soil. It could be any soil mitigating task which they have to explain to me but the majority of the assessment is about participation and contribution to the team. So please involve your trainee in this important task.

I am pleased to say that Chris Thorman is back on deck after his major operation. We rescheduled two Year 3 trainee classes so there has been minimal disruption. It means that all three second half of year classes have started and that there is a significant workload ahead.

The Growing Environment first part can be worked on and involves using VSA and soil nutrient tests. Please make these available. The fruit crop management class has the botany experiment under way and the trainees will require access to your pollination plans. The third class is pests and diseases and trainees should be well underway with this assessment. Both EIT staff and the trainees will appreciate using rainy days as study days.

I am pleased to say that the Fruit Production Diploma class has expanded and while there are some issues around workload, the quality of the work we are receiving is very good. The industry is in good hands when these young people graduate and become managers and trainers.

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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