Primary ITO will apply to the Ministry of Education for more Trades Academy places with demand from schools now outstripping supply.
The new qualifications will be filtering out to all primary ITO sectors – horticulture, sports turf, equine, seafood and food processing – over the next two years.
The new qualifications are aimed to "work the way you work" – more learning in the workplace and less time spent in the classroom.
"Our new programmes are designed with industry to ensure our learners leave with the skills and knowledge required to consistently perform in the workplace," says Graeme Couper, Primary ITO education manager.
"We want to ensure they understand the reasons behind the practical application, have the ability to perform to industry standards and have the skills to do the job they are employed to do.
"More training takes place in a workplace context, with structured field trips allowing learners to view different systems and discuss what's happening and why. Assessments are also more directly related to the workplace, with a variety of options for capturing evidence through technology and workplace based tasks."
The content of the training programmes will also be better matched to seasonal activities so learning can be implemented straight away.
For current Primary ITO customers, their current training programmes remain valid and they will have until December 2017 to complete them. Primary ITO's training advisers will talk with current students about what the changes mean and ensure any training is tailored to help meet their individual career or business aspirations.
"The new programmes are more holistic and applied," explains Couper. "Our overarching vision is to produce Primary ITO graduates with
the capabilities our industries need.
"We want to develop people who are adaptable to industry trends, technically capable, innovative problem-solvers with critical thinking skills. We must create lifelong learners and these new qualifications are a huge step in the right direction."