There's a future for every talent in our innovative food & fibre sectors.

Enquiring about a primary industries career

You’re thinking that a career in the primary industries might be for you – but want to know more before you make the plunge into training to get you there. There are all sorts of events or programmes designed to give you a taste of a career in the primary industries.

Get Ahead is a one stop career programme aimed at secondary school students who are checking out a career in agriculture – for those who aren’t aware of the opportunities available just yet; because the beauty of the modern day agriculture industry is its diversity.

Agriculture is not just about traditional on-farm roles; there are many opportunities in Agri-business and Agri-science sectors too. Everything from marketing to research science, dairy farming to rural banking – there really is something for everyone.

The Get Ahead career programme aims to demonstrate to students about these options through Experience Days that are held around the country followed up by the In2 the Field Mentor Programme where keen students get to learn from those in the know. The practical aspects of the programme are backed up through in-depth resources found on  the Get Ahead website.


Trades academies focus on delivering trades and technology programmes to secondary students based on partnerships between schools, tertiary institutions, industry training organisations and employers. Students in years 11 to 13, who are interested in a career in trades or technology are able to combine study at a trades academy with studies towards their National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and a nationally transferable tertiary qualification Level 1, 2 or 3.

The purpose of a trades academy is to:

  • motivate more students to stay engaged in learning and training by providing them with a greater number of options for study
  • provide students with clear pathways post-school by giving them a head start on training for vocational qualifications and smooth access to employment
  • improve the responsiveness of schools to business and economic needs.

Website: Ministry of Education

Lincoln and Massey University regularly hold career focussed events to help you with your career planning.

Lincoln University

The Lincoln University Careers & Employment Service can provide information and advice on the wide range of career opportunities available to graduates.  A professional career consultant assists students to identify career options in the ever-changing market place. A wide range of career events are held throughout the year, including career fairs, employer presentations and networking events to connect students with employers.    

Connect with Lincoln University Careers & Employment by emailing



Massey University

Graduates with degrees ranging from veterinary science, agribusiness, engineering and food technology graduates take the next step in roles building New Zealand's economy. Join them in providing our nation with the latest knowledge and expertise from smart production systems to food product development and from market research to developing international trade.  Call 0800 MASSEY or find us at:



The Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) delivers additional funds to all State secondary schools with year 11-13 students. STAR assists boards of trustees, principals and schools to better meet the needs of students. It enables schools to help their students smoothly transition from school to further education and/or employment. There is a focus on at-risk students intending to go straight into the workforce.

This information is primarily a resource for STAR coordinators and will also be of interest to boards of trustees and principals responsible for STAR in schools and others such as teachers, parents and whānau, and external providers.

Overall Website: Youth Guarantee - STAR

Resource Delivered by Taratahi Institute of Agriculture: STAR primary sectors

Gateway is available to state and integrated secondary schools, and supports senior secondary students (Year 11 to Year 13+) undertaking structured workplace learning across a range of industries and businesses around New Zealand while continuing to study at school.

Gateway delivery involves arranging structured workplace learning with the following characteristics:

  • a formalised learning arrangement set in the workplace
  • clear understandings about the knowledge and skills to be attained by learners
  • clear understandings about the assessment method used (workplace learning).


Overall Programme: Gateway Programme

Primary Sectors Programme: PrimaryITO Gateway Programme

Taratahi has developed 'Agriculture in Schools' programmes give students the unique opportunity of beginning their tertiary education in agriculture while still at school.  Ag in Schools has been designed to provide secondary school students with the opportunity to build and develop skills through on farm experience while also gaining credits towards their NCEA Levels 1-3.

Students can be involved in the Ag in Schools programme in the following three ways:

PITA (Primary Industry Trades Academy) -  students study part-time over a minimum of 30 weeks, two days a week (for Years 12 – 13).  Three qualifications are offered:

  • National Certificate in Agriculture (General Skills) Level 2 (aimed at Year 12 students).  Open criteria.
  • National Certificate in Agriculture (Animal Feeding and Pastures) Level 3.  Students who have studied Level 2 PITA have the opportunity to apply to enrol in this programme.
  • National Certificate in Equine (Introductory Stable Skills) Level 2.  Students have the opportunity to work towards this certificate over two years completing the Year 1 and Year 2 programme.  Open entry criteria.


STAR (Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resources) - students study on a 3-5 day block course in a chosen subject for Years 11 – 13.

 Extramural - students study via correspondence using Taratahi learning resources and assessments for Years 11 – 13.

Further information on PITA, STAR and Extramural programmes can be found on Taratahi’s website.

Phone: 0800 TARATAHI (827 2824)

Grow your future with dairying booklet

Do you love technology and being innovative? Do you strive to learn new skills and find solutions? What about travelling, giving advice, and meeting others in the primary industries? Or, how about working with animals and outdoors? You could run your own business, help others and be challenged every day. Whichever of these suits, there's a role for you. The Grow Your Future With Dairying booklet takes you through a career decision making process, designed by a teacher and tested with teachers and students. It includes a wide range of options - in agri-business, agri-science or on the farm. Find out more

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