At NZKGI, we aim to keep our grower community up-to-date with relevant industry news and key event information. See below for all of our latest industry news announcements and the details you need to know for our upcoming events.

Education / July 16, 2020

Education and Training

Getting more skilled people into the Industry remains the core business for the NZKGI Education Portfolio. There has never been a better time for employers to invest in upskilling their workforce, with a number of funding initiatives coming from the Government post-Covid 19.

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF, also known as free trades training) is a $320 million fund explicitly targeting the primary industries, including horticulture, where there is a skills need expected to continue or increase during New Zealand’s recovery period. From July 1st 2020 through to 31 December 2022, Tertiary Education Organisations will be offering education and training without fees to learners for:

  • All apprenticeships
  • Level 3-7 sub-degree programmes (e.g. certificates and diplomas) delivered by tertiary providers
  • Industry training, outside of apprenticeships

(refer to for the list of what is covered)

Horticulture apprenticeships are available through the Primary ITO. For anyone interested in employing an apprentice or in starting an apprenticeship go to All training and assessment fees will be paid by the TTAF, for both new and existing apprentices. Please see for more details.

Apprenticeship boost – this recognises that apprentices need more support from their employers in their first two years while they are training and developing their skills. For apprentices enrolled in a recognised apprenticeship course, employers can apply to receive the Apprenticeship boost through MSD. This will pay $1000/month for apprentices in their first year, and $500/month for those in their second year. Further information can be found at

Regional Apprenticeship Initiative – a new regional apprenticeship scheme, funded by the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), introduced to support displaced workers and Maori and Pacific people into jobs. Further details have yet to be released for this initiative.

Mana in Mahi extension – Mana in Mahi, a programme available through MSD, was launched in Aug 2018, and helps employers provide support for employees to move into long-term work and gain formal industry qualifications. Initially designed for employers to take on young workers, it has now been extended to workers of all ages. This support is now to be extended from 12 to 24 months, including a wage subsidy of up to $16,000 for first year participants and up to $8,000 for second year participants. Additional pastoral care and other support is also provided. Employers please see for more details.

Lincoln University is also offering a fees waiver for domestic students in a range of courses related to the food and fibre sector, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. For more details see