Cadetship encourages youth into horticulture

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A rural cadetship programme is on track to address the shortage of staff in horticulture and viticulture industries, stakeholders say.

The 12-month programme is run by Seasonal Solutions Co-operative.

It was developed to address the shortage of staff in horticulture and viticulture industries.

Participants get two-thirds of their study costs paid initially and the remaining third is reimbursed on the successful completion of their cadetship.

Cameron Smith and Stefen Bain have recently become the second and third to do the cadetship under the scheme.

The first person to do the scheme was Jacob Coombridge (19), of Cromwell.

Mr Smith and Mr Bain, who work for Springvale Orchards and Central Organics, owned by Chris and Maree Denniston, have spent the past 13 months studying for their national certificate in horticulture level three through the Primary Industry Training Organisation (PITO).

They received their certificates from SSCO’s chief executive Helen Axby and operations manager Andrea Burdett at the orchard on Monday.

Ms Axby said Central Otago was desperately short of people willing to taking up careers in the horticulture and viticulture industries.