Thursday, 15 February 2024 08:25

New hort leadership course

Written by  Staff Reporters
A new leadership course is being designed for the horticulture sector. A new leadership course is being designed for the horticulture sector.

A new formal leadership course for the horticulture sector is under design.

The horticultural sector representatives are working with Muka Tangata, the Workforce Development Council for the food and fibre sector, to plan a new formal leadership course for emerging leaders.

It is being developed to replace an existing informal course that has been delivered in the horticultural sector over the last two years.

“We are responding directly to requests from industry, mainly from the horticulture sector but also from our engagement with other industries in the food and fibre sector, for a new leadership micro credential that better meets the current needs of the sector,” says Muka Tangata chief executive Jeremy Baker. “We see the benefit in designing the micro credential so that it can be picked up and used throughout industries in the food and fibre sector.”

General manager engagement at Horticulture New Zealand, Kate Longman, says the new micro-credential will provide a critical link into the education system ensuring its ongoing provision and improved accessibility.

“Currently, the horticulture sector relies on AGMARDT and the Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust to subsidise the cost of the existing informal emerging leaders’ course. Our sector cannot rely on this funding indefinitely and needs to connect the course to the New Zealand education system,” she explains.

“Muka Tangata has brought users and providers together to co-design an award to replace the existing informal course. When it is listed on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework, it will become a formal award that can be funded through the Tertiary Education Commission.”

The course is targeted at supervisors who lead large seasonal teams through the busy periods experienced in horticulture production such as thinning, pruning, harvesting and packing.

Curriculum manager for the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) Pam Wood, who is part of the working group, says the new leadership micro-credential will meet changing industry needs.

“The existing NMIT micro credential course was established during early Covid, at a time when a lot of people who had been in leadership roles in impacted sectors such as hospitality and tourism, were moving into the primary industry. So, they needed training in that new context.”

She says the sector now has different training needs.

“This includes those people who gained residency in New Zealand with the 2021 residency visa and may be trained in leadership in other countries but who now need the New Zealand context. We also have an aging primary industries workforce with many people less able to do the more physical work, but who will make great team leaders.”


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