Federated Farmers says it fully supports the government's determination to put the spotlight on vocational education and look for better solutions for Kiwis learning on the job, especially rural Kiwis.

Feds rural education spokesman Andrew Maclean said today's announcement by Minister of Education Chris Hipkins provided a real opportunity to look at what worked in the current system, and what did not.

"There's no question the current system struggles to deliver the vocational training that the agriculture, horticulture, forestry and other land-based industries require.

"We are looking forward to contributing to this discussion and will be encouraging our members to do the same," Maclean said.


"We will be highlighting the importance of keeping vocational training in the regions. Teaching farming on farms, not online."

The massive shakeup proposed today will see a new national body take over all of New Zealand's 110,000 polytechnic students and 140,000 apprentices and industry trainees.

The proposed NZ Institute of Skills and Technology will take over programme design and administration for all campuses of what are now 16 separate polytechnics.

It will also take over enrolling and managing apprentices and industry trainees from what are now 11 industry training organisations (ITOs).

The ITOs will be replaced by new "industry skills bodies" which will be led by employers. They will become "bookends to the vocational education system", setting standards and checking that trainees have been well trained, but losing the role of managing training to the new institute.