Education Minister Chris Hipkins has agreed to a proposal from SIT to take over the Telford campus of the Taratahi Agricultural Centre for 12 months.

Taratahi was placed in interim liquidation at the request of its board in December last year.

The Government will invest $1.8 million in SIT to deliver primary industries training programmes both at Telford and through distance learning. SIT is aiming to teach around 200 primary industry students in 2019 at the Telford campus and across New Zealand.

“This is a great outcome for Telford students who want to continue their studies and complete their qualifications, and for those students who were looking forward to starting at Telford this year. It also keeps investment and jobs in the local community,” said Hipkins.

The majority of Telford staff – around 20 equivalent fulltime staff – will be employed by SIT, with their existing rights and benefits maintained.

“The primary industries are a vital contributor to the New Zealand economy and top-class training and education in the sector is essential,” says Hipkins.

The announcement comes as the Government prepares to release its proposals for the reform of New Zealand’s vocational education and training system.

“We’ve chosen to continue to invest at the Telford site while the longer term change is being considered as SIT is a strong institution with solid financial backing. There is no similar proposal for Taratahi at this stage.”

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