The promise of delivering primary sector skills training in the region by early 2020 took a step forward with the confirmation of $60,000 from the PGF for the Wairarapa Regional Skills Leadership Group, chaired by Dame Margaret Bazley as part of the Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy.
The group has been active for the last ten months in the community, engaging with farmers, employers, providers and students to urgently close the gap in the region’s training left by the closure of Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre. Funding will ensure they can address the immediate priorities - to identify providers who can deliver the training commencing in 2020, explore local funding from participants and directly seek a funding stream from the Tertiary Education Commission.
Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones said he was pleased that the Provincial Growth Fund was able to support such locally led initiatives:
“It’s heartening to see Wairarapa tailor solutions to the skills shortages they’re experiencing in their rural community” he said, “Farming is a long standing and proud sector in New Zealand and it is important our young people see a future in our primary industries which continue to be the backbone of our economy”
The Wairarapa Regional Skills Leadership Group is chaired and driven by Dame Margaret and includes the region’s Mayors, education providers, farmers and industry leaders. It also has the support of Ngāti Kahungunu and Rangitāne who are passionate about developing and growing young farmers.
“We see Taratahi as central to our aspirations,” said Dame Margaret Bazley, “and we’re working closely with the liquidator and with the central government to develop a range of primary sector skills and training opportunities for delivery.”
“Once we’re confident the urgent need for effective, industry led primary sector skills training for Wairarapa has been addressed, we’ll be turning our sights to the wider vocational skills needs for our community,” said Dame Margaret.
027 222 6822