Dairy engineering apprenticeship available now

A partnership between industry training organisation Competenz and the New Zealand Milking & Pumping Trade Association (NZMPTA) has resulted in New Zealand’s first nationally recognised apprenticeship qualification for dairy engineers.

The qualification, the New Zealand Apprenticeship in Dairy Systems (Engineering), will build the skills and careers of a group of people who play an essential role in supporting New Zealand’s biggest industry: the engineers who design, install and maintain the milking, pumping and effluent systems that keep dairy farms running 365 days a year.

Learners will gain the qualification through a three-year apprenticeship training programme.

"The NZMPTA has been championing an apprenticeship programme for the dairy industry for many years and we’re thrilled that, with the expertise of Competenz, it’s now in place," says NZMPTA president and country manager of Grundfos Pumps, Simon Fletcher.

"This nationally recognised qualification addresses the shortfall of skilled tradespeople in the milk harvesting, pumping and water application sectors of the industry. While it’s largely engineering-based, the apprenticeship delivers a range of skills, knowledge and workmanship. It will help the industry attract new people and offer them career paths, lift the level of skill in the industry and set consistent standards. Employers, employees and the farming clients we work with will all benefit."

Competenz industry manager Peter Ferguson says strong industry representation from the NZMPTA has helped the Competenz team understand the technical skills dairy technicians need to work productively and safely, and agree the qualification’s structure and content.

"Dairy is such an important industry for New Zealand and our regional communities. So we’re really pleased to be able to help the industry build the skills it needs, right through the supply chain, to be internationally competitive."

Ferguson says apprenticeships are a structured, proven way to build skills.

"Most learning takes place on the job. So apprentices are gaining practical skills that are directly relevant to the job they’re doing."

As the industry training organisation for the engineering industry, Competenz already manages over two thousand engineering apprenticeships across New Zealand.

"Now we’re extending those apprenticeships to meet the needs of New Zealand’s biggest industry."

About the New Zealand Apprenticeship in Dairy Systems (Engineering)

  • The apprenticeship involves three years of training on- and off-the-job. Learners can choose one of two ‘strands’ (subjects): pumping systems or milking systems.
  • Competenz will work with companies and apprentices to develop tailored training plans, supply learning resources, review apprentices’ progress, and arrange assessments and off-job training.

For the latest farming news, subscribe to Farm Trader magazine here.

Keep up to date in the industry by signing up to Farm Trader's free newsletter or liking us on Facebook