The Workforce Development Council for the food and fibre sector, Muka Tangata, is working with the irrigation industry to develop new credentials to better support learners and the industry.
Muka Tangata chief executive Jeremy Baker said engagement with the industry has identified the opportunity to create standalone “micro-credentials” that would give learners a quick pathway to demonstrating specific skills in water measurement and reporting.
“We’re now working together with the industry to develop and refine these micro-credentials, based on learner outcomes, that will allow companies to gain accreditation to work in the water measurement space.”
The work was initiated mid-2023 when Irrigation New Zealand sought Muka Tangata’s support to turn two of its existing NZQA unit standards into “micro-credentials” – small, focused achievement credentials that mean learners can show skills without having to complete larger qualifications.
Irrigation NZ commercial manager Julie Melhopt said micro-credentials provide more options for people within the industry to achieve formal qualifications.
“Historically, the irrigation industry has had little in the way of formal training pathways, and this is something Irrigation New Zealand has been working to improve.
“By moving parts of our industry training into micro-credentials we feel that we are not only offering more in terms of qualifications, but we are also future proofing the training being offered in our industry.”
Work to develop the proposed micro-credentials is underway. Once finalised, Muka Tangata will hold further discussions with industry groups with the goal of implementing them in early 2024.