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First food and fibre centre of excellence launches

3rd September 2020 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

Eastern Institute of Technology
The CoVE will be hosted at the Eastern Institute of Technology in the Hawke’s Bay. Image: EIT

The Government has launched the country’s first centre of excellence for the primary sector, labelling it a sign of its commitment to growers and farmers.

The Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) will be hosted by the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology through its subsidiary, the Eastern Institute of Technology in the Hawke’s Bay.

“This is another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to the primary sector and to raising the status of vocational education,”  agriculture minister Damien O’Connor said.

“It’s estimated the primary sector will need another 50,000 workers by 2025 and over 92,000 more workers with qualifications. While the sector is on the rise, it is still struggling to attract, train and retain the diverse range of people it needs to continue growing.”

The new Food and Fibre CoVE was a collaboration between 54 organisations across the food and fibre sector, which included industry associations, tertiary providers, iwi organisations, and companies.

The CoVE’s key focus areas were:

  1. Attracting and retaining learners and staff – from school to vocational education, to higher learning, and to and in the workforce.
  2. Defining vocational excellence – explore and identify excellence in food and fibre vocational education, locally and internationally, focused on learner and employer success and satisfaction.
  3. Specialised projects – test and embed new ideas, innovations and specialised opportunities from across the regions and sectors. 

“In October last year, I joined with the Primary Industries Skills Leaders Working Group and launched the Food & Fibre Skills Action Plan,” O’Connor said.

“Immediately following that, an industry-led Establishment Group was set up to maintain momentum and to start delivering the actions.”

O’Connor added that the Food and Fibre CoVE was a key priority for the Establishment Group as it delivered on the action plan.

“There are significant employment opportunities in our primary industries and we are committed to helping to train people to have the skills they need for the opportunities in front of us.”



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