A year-long journey to fulltime employment can begin with a free ride at Ag Challenge in Whanganui.

The private provider is offering a fees free Farm Skills programme to Level 2 to those who may have left school and are unsure of what their career future may hold.

The 15-week course is available to anyone regardless of NCEA qualifications and provides practical experience that can lead to a job in farming and agriculture or give graduates the foundations for further study.

The course teaches the basics about agriculture on Ag Challenge's real life farms and includes learning to ride a motorbike or drive a tractor to handling animals, health and safety practices and prepares students for L3 studies.


Michelle Colson, Ag Challenge marketing, said the Farm Skills programme is a free pathway to L3 studies that include Farming Systems Technology (15 weeks), Milk Harvesting Technology (22 weeks) or Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure, 22 weeks). Once graduated from any of those courses, students are work ready for fulltime employment.

"Basically a student can be trained and in unsupervised work within a year of starting the fees free L2 Work Skills course," Colson said.

"Industry wants skilled, trained people and this is a great way to begin the journey. There are school leavers out there who are unsure about their future careers and what they want to do. This Work Skills course can provide the direction they seek and prepare them for any number of future career paths."