Learning while you work and adding tangible qualifications to the CV is a highly attractive prospect.
To achieve that free of charge is even more desirable in today's money-driven environment.
AGC Training offers such a deal to students signing up to its Milk Harvesting Level 3 course before July this year.
While the course is open to full-time students combining classroom study with hands-on learning in the milking shed, the course is also available to potential students already working in the field.
The programme will suit people new to the dairy industry or already employed as milk harvesters, farm assistants or relief milkers.
AGC Training dairy tutor Rob Baldwin, who has 20 years' experience in the industry, says the course is ideal for those already employed.
"We deliver the course around work commitments, so there's no interruptions to the work routine," Baldwin said.
"Much of the programme is done online, although I act as a liaison between AGC Training and the student in the workplace;
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"The timetable allows for on-farm events like calving and mating, with tutors available to support and set you up prior to calving, then picking up the training post-calving peak around mid-September.
"An on-farm practical work experience logbook is used to record the evidence of the practical experience and is signed off in conjunction with the employer.
"Tutors and support staff are available via the online portal, email and phone for support at any time. Some classroom sessions might be undertaken in regions with sufficient numbers of students.
"It allows employers to contribute to their staff training plans and on-farm commitments towards milk quality for the coming season.
"We are encouraging people to enrol before the next season to make the most of the fees-free option, we don't know when the Government will discontinue this," Baldwin said.
The industry is highly supportive of AGC Training's endeavours to provide a steady stream of skilled workers primed to hit the ground running on graduation.
"We have interest from the industry through Open Country and Dairy NZ Training is also featuring this in the Fonterra Focus as well," Baldwin said.