Industry groups and the tertiary education sector have teamed up in an effort to attract new people into horticulture at a time growing regions, including Hawke’s Bay, are experiencing a dire shortage of workers.

New Zealand Apples and Pears, GoHort and eCampus NZ joined forces, launching free online courses to attract Kiwis into horticulture industry roles.

The ten short, online taster courses introduce learners to the career opportunities available in horticulture and cover a range of topics, from health and safety to leading a team in an orchard or packhouse. 

The self-paced courses are delivered on Learning Engine, eCampus NZ’s micro-learning platform. Learners are awarded a digital badge when they successfully complete each course, which can be displayed on a resume and shared on social media and professional networking sites.

The courses are being promoted through the MPI’s ‘Opportunity Grows Here’ campaign, which was launched last year to help New Zealanders find employment opportunities in the primary sector.

“We see these courses as being the future of how we engage with Kiwis starting their pathway into our industry as well as being a resource for anyone curious and wanting to learn more about what goes on in the world of fruit and veg,” says Horticulture NZ capability manager Emma Boase.

Anyone interested in taking the courses can visit the GoHort website to sign up and start learning immediately.

A direct link to the online taster courses can be found here or visit the Opportunity Grows Here or NZ Apples and Pearswebsites.

Photo caption: Horticulture NZ’s Emma Boase (right) shares the taster courses with James at the Grow Ōtautahi Festival in Christchurch in March.

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