The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.
“The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme.
“The Trust has already placed 48 apprentices with various host organisations around the country since the scheme started late last year following an investment of $4.5 million through the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme,
“A further $2.35 million will mean another 25 people who may either be looking for work or a fresh start due to the impact of COVID 19 now have the opportunity to receive the same on-the-job and formal training.
“Participants complete the NZQA Certificate in Pest Operations (Level 3) and a number of other industry qualifications, and learn directly from experienced pest control specialists during their apprenticeship. They also provide local on-the-ground support to conservation community groups, landowners, and other projects,” Kiri Allan said.
“If we are going to achieve our ambitious goal of creating a predator free New Zealand by 2050 and see the regeneration of our native bird and plant life it is vital we grow a workforce armed with the skills required to become future environmental leaders.
“This project will not only do that but will also deliver social and economic benefits to the wider community,” Kiri Allan said.
Support staff will be employed to coordinate the programme.