Current Projects

Below is a summary of current projects along with proposals which are progressing toward the business case stage. Where more detail about each project is available this can be accessed by clicking the project heading. If you are interested in knowing more about a project or proposal, or are keen to be involved, you can provide your contact details and an appropriate comment in the block at the bottom of this page.

Foundation Projects

The two remaining foundation projects – Evaluation Framework and Taking Stock – are well advanced. The Evaluation Framework will establish a robust performance measurement system by which the FFCoVE can demonstrate progress toward our strategic objectives and Taking Stock will define what we mean by ‘vocational excellence’ and identify where good and best practice in vocational excellence is happening across New Zealand so we can leverage that. Taking Stock will also identify what isn’t working so well and provide evidence to support future initiatives to address those weaknesses. Both projects are due to complete at the end of November 2021.

Technology-enabled Learning

The Technology-enabled Learning is the third element of a three phase TEC-funded project which is being delivered by Scarlatti Limited. Phase 1 was a research project into what would best serve the needs of organisations involved in vocational education and training related to primary industries subjects following the challenges of the initial COVID-19 outbreak. Phase 2 comprised a series of interviews and thematic analyses of approaches different organisations have taken in terms of technology-enabled learning. The current phase is the development of a website which will host the findings in the form of learning resources for vocational education providers, tutors and students along with a range of guides on how learning can be enhanced.

User testing is complete, an user workshop was held on 15 November to introduce the product and the system will be fully operational by early December.

Tupu Case Study

The Te Hiku Iwi Development Trust (Kaitaia, Northland) recently commissioned an innovative ‘learn as you earn’ programme (the Tupu programme) to trial a new way of transitioning out of work rangitahi into meaningful work.  It was obvious that, even after just a few months, some impressive results were being achieved with very positive outcomes for both worker-leaners and employers in an environment where neither group had been particularly well served in the past.  It was agreed that empirical data should be captured on what was different about the Tupu programme and why those changes were working for Tupu where other programmes across New Zealand had not been as successful. Funded by the FFCoVE, the Trust has engaged a research company which is working toward a final report at the end of March 2022.

Te Ao Māori Integration into the Level 3 Māori Cadetship Programme

Post-COVID there has been an increase in cadet and workforce programmes. The dominant existing ones are either focused on first-time learners at Level 1-2 or on employment outcomes. A level 3 Māori cadetship programme in the Bay of Plenty has been updated by integrating Te Ao Māori practices. Te Awanui Huka Pak Limited are leading this project to assess the outcomes achieved through that integration so that other programmes can leverage those practices which make a significant difference to learner outcomes. This project is scheduled to complete in April 2021. 

Year 7 & 8 STEM Programme

Attracting students into Food and Fibre related training and education is an ongoing challenge. The objective of the Year 7 and 8 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Project is to expose senior Primary School pupils to the Primary Industry Sector across multiple disciplines:

  • Plant husbandry
  • Hydroponics
  • Technology (electronic measuring tools and robotics in particular)

The ultimate goal of this project is to encourage students to take up Food and Fibre subjects at High Schools and eventually take up careers in the Food and Fibre sector. A secondary goal is to contribute toward changing the perceptions of parents by exposing them to the exciting, varied and fulfilling career opportunities within food and fibre. 

The estimated delivery of the final project milestone is end August 2022.

Systems Approach to Micro-credentials

When the FFCoVE was originally established a number of Project suggestions were received that identified micro credentials as a solution to an industry wide problem of a lack of recognition for small bite sized pieces of learning. Those projects were combined and Dairy Training NZ appointed to take the lead on the project.

While micro-credentials (and seals and badges and recognised prior learning) have been around for some time, there remains an industry-wide problem of inconsistent recognition for small bite sized pieces of learning. Dairy Training Ltd (via a working party comprising representatives from FFCoVE, Primary ITO, QCONZ, UCOL, eCampus NZ, NZQA, Te Pukenga and Scarlatti ltd) completed an analysis of the contribution various formal and non-formal credentials make toward the recognition of the overall knowledge and competencies of an employee. This resulted in the identification of the characteristics needed of a successful credentials system but determined there’s still much work to be done to define how the components of such a system would need to interact.   The project has four key deliverables:

  • Define what good looks like for micro-credential development and delivery across the food and fibre sector
  • Undertake mapping work to address the role of badging, stacking, and other characteristics of micro-credentials as raised by the stakeholder group
  • Develop a system for the shareability and portability of micro-credentials 
  • Formalise a community of interest

The project is currently in the detailed planning stage with a delivery date expected to be mid-2022.

Initiatives Under Development

The following initiatives are being assessed with regard to alignment with the FFCoVE strategy, breadth of potential benefits across the sector, support from industry and providers etc. The FFCoVE is particularly interested to hear from organisations which might be interested in taking part in the development and delivery of these.

Work Integrated Learning. Currently two formal models of learning exist, the in-work model and the provider model. The Food and Fibre sector seeks to establish Work Integrated Learning model(s) which provide greater flexibility for learners and enables simplified access to vocational education. eCampus NZ are leading this initiative, ably supported by EIT, WITT, NMIT, NZ Young Farmers, Dairy Training Ltd and NZ Apples and Pears. The working group has made significant progress in defining a high level Work Integrated Learning Ecosystem and are in the process of identifying two or three pilot projects to test that ecosystem.

Food and Fibre Sector Industry Training Transformation Project (Apple and Pears NZ Inc.) This project explores the development of a new training model that has consistency of content across all Food and Fibre Sector qualifications to ensure less interruption to the learner journey and greater productivity for employers and with a coordinated delivery approach by providers.  APNZI identified a need for the development of a qualification suite that meets industry and sector requirements, ensures learners are employable sector wide across many industries, not just in one orchard with one employer and can adapt to changing needs over time. Without fit-for-purpose qualifications, the sector risks losing existing staff and struggles to attract new staff. Clear pathways must exist with appropriate best practice content that is valued nationally and streamlines the transferability of employees between regions and employers. There is a corresponding opportunity to embed mātauranga Māori into the qualifications to help attract and retain our Māori employees.  The FFCoVE agrees and sees this as an initiative that can be applied sector wide.  The project aims to:

  • Analyse the current state of horticulture qualifications within the sector and describe how they connect to each other, who the providers are and research what is best practice delivery.
  • Examine the opportunities for both vertical and horizontal training options
  • Identify what an end-to-end career plan looks like for learners throughout the continuum from pre-employment to post graduate with industry voice guiding development and ensuring consistency across all qualification’s content. 
  • Research the requirement for qualifications that are fit for purpose for both industry and learners.
  • Scope one or more sector wide pilot schemes which would demonstrate the validiyty of the research findings. Note that the funding of these pilots is out of scope for this project.

This project is currently in the detailed planning stage with delivery expected mid-2022.

 FF Degree-level Apprenticeship. Degree-level apprenticeships (mostly engineering- or technology-related) have been available in England and Wales since 2015 and in New Zealand since 2018. The FFCoVE is seeking representatives from industry and VET providers to form a working group which would scope a research project which would identify (among other things):

  • Characteristics of a Food and Fibre specific degree-level apprenticeship programme which would meet the diverse needs of the sector
  • Considerations which a subsequent tertiary provider would need to take into account in the detailed design of curricula, target graduate outcomes (for each endorsement), programme delivery (including work integrated learning approaches), assessment methods etc. 
  • Identification of potential industry sponsors, employers of potential employee students and VET providers willing to deliver such programmes. 
  • An assessment of the attractiveness of the concept with potential students to confirm this model of obtaining a degree would appeal to young people who would not normally consider the currently available degree offerings. 

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