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The Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust is firmly committed to supporting education in the Rotorua District. It makes a number of scholarships available to a wide range of people at the same time each year.

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AgITO Skills Day

Funding from the Rotorua Trust has helped advance the skills of up-and-coming farmers. The trust contributed $2,500 towards an annual Skills Day run by the agricultural industry training organisation, AgITO.

Lizzy Wilding, AgITO’s training advisor for the west Central Plateau, says 75 trainees attended this year’s skills day at the Bluff Club in Ngakuru. Trainees with various levels of experience go through seven half-hour modules. The modules range from being able to ride motorbikes, fencing, banking, feeding as well as environmental and health sections and a novelty race for a bit of fun.

If the newer trainees get to a certain section and are facing difficulties completing the task, members of AgITO’s regional committee and others are on hand to help them

out. This can see them helping out trainees with fencing or even how to tie knots.

They may not receive marks if they are helped, but even if they don’t do well at the Skills Day, they will learn something from it. Some of the junior trainees did very well this year.

“The general comment from everyone was that the level of ability was much higher and this showed in the overall scores, which were higher than they had been in the past,” says Lizzy.

With more immigrant workers on farms, more foreign trainees were involved this year, reflecting changes in the agriculture workforce. The skills day was quite difficult for some of them, as they had to have a very good grasp of English.

AgITO is the vocational training organisation for the industry. It is semi-funded from industry and through the government, and is for people in paid employment on farms to learn as they earn.

Lizzy has been training officer for six years and every year the number of trainees has become bigger.

For more information on

AgITO Skills Day, contact:
Lizzy Wilding, Training Adviser,
West Central Plateau, AgITO,
(07) 378-6215, lizzyw@agito.ac.nz