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Training Sector Update

Posted By Jo Pentreath | February 14, 2021

As we head into harvest, labour is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Hawke’s Bay is receiving 85% of the 2,000 RSE’s coming into New Zealand, but this number also reflects a 7,000 deficit from what the industry would usually require for harvest. Apple harvest is going to be very tight, so I encourage our growers to keep an eye out for your neighbors and be willing to share staff with each other if possible.

The training year started in early January and the first part has concluded with the onset of harvest. At EIT we hope that the weather during harvest is benign and that a shortage of labour does not impact too much!

Congratulations to all the scholarship winners who were recognised for their efforts at the HBFA Industry Awards Night. In all there were 17 scholarship winners and a total of 20 EIT graduates.

Year 1 trainees have now completed a good number of courses. Health and Well-being, Health and Safety, Tractors and First Aid. This quite a list in such a short time and they are to be congratulated on completing, leading up to the very busy time of year. Because we know that potential trainees are often identified over harvest, we have built in some catch-up days in May for those who start late. So please get in touch with Gordon before the 30th of April if you would like to start a new trainee.

Year 2 trainees will complete five separate 15 credit courses during the year. They now have four of the five assessment books. Their first assessment is weeds. We have given them plenty of time to complete this as they need to collect and identify weeds at different stages of growth. The second assessment (but the first one due in) is the fruit quality assessment which is a collection of evidence to do with harvest parameters and documentation. I have asked that this first assessment is due in on the 30th of April. So, they need to be collecting evidence during the harvest.

Additionally, Gordon has given trainees two other assessment books, the “Introduction to the Growing Environment” and the “Block Development and Maintenance” book. The reason for giving these early was so that they can collect appropriate weather forecast charts and take note of irrigation scheduling events to use as evidence. These will be used later in the year.

 Year 3 Trainees also have two assessments to start. Firstly the “Human Resources” assignment and the “Complying with Market Needs”. Last year we were overly flexible with dues dates for this work as a result of the lockdown. Some people took advantage of this flexibility. As long as there are no further lockdowns we just cannot be that lenient.

Congratulations to Jareth Russell who is employed by T&G Global as the top Level 4 trainee. Jareth completed all his six courses with straight A grades. Well done.

Fruit Production Diploma. Classes have started this year under the guidance of our finance guru Brian McLay. Again, these students have an assignment that they can be working on before the next class in May.

At last week’s awards evening the first graduates of this programme were recognised. Steven Hartley deserves special recognition for his outstanding work, receiving A grades in all eight courses offered. A highlight, was his research project which looked at the effect of row orientation on sun light interception. This was a very well-conceived and executed project which adds to the industries body of knowledge. Well done Steven.

As always if you have any queries or concerns please get in touch. For further information, please contact EIT Tutor Gordon Reid on greid@eit.ac.nz or 06 830185.

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