The metamorphosis of one of Whanganui's most popular private training establishments is almost complete.

Ag Challenge has kept itself and the courses it delivers relevant over the 31 years it has been in business, but in today's environment a new name was needed to better reflect what it offered to students and the industries it serves.

From January 1, 2020, the Whanganui-based and owned educational company will be known as AGC Training.

Director of executives Peter Macdonald said times had changed and the company had kept pace with that change.


"The new name better reflects what we do. The AGC [Ag Challenge] still reflects our agricultural focus while training remains our core business."

When principal Stephen Gudsell started the company some 31 years ago, agricultural training was its main focus, but over the years the PTE has delivered far more.

The company began as a cottage industry-style business upskilling workers to help fill a growing void in the agricultural workforce.

However, today, alongside agriculture, Ag Challenge has introduced courses in construction, painting, animal care and technology, vet nursing, DIY skills and even a course for those simply looking to upskill to join the workforce.

Its networks span almost any industry including Agriculture, manufacturing, trades and retail.

One of those new courses is the Introduction To Trade and DIY Skills With BCATS Level 2, ideal for all ages and particularly for school leavers unlikely to exit with any NCEA credits.

"Parents with children leaving school without any NCEA credits may want to look at this course," Macdonald said.

"If students enrol now they could be graduating and joining the workforce by Christmas with L2 NCEA. We do have a rolling intake policy, so people can join courses throughout the year, but if students leave it even until next month they won't be graduating until well into the New Year. This is a fees-free course."