Handling Livestock Milking Cows Fencing


New Zealand Certificate in Primary Skills (Level 2)

Farming course for International students with the possibility of working on a New Zealand farm if your visa allows.

Course length: 12 weeks

Start dates: March, April, May and August each year (dates can be flexible)

This course teaches practical farming skills and agricultural knowledge used by NZ farmers to increase farm production and efficiency. This will enable international students to work on a New Zealand farm before they return to their home country and apply the knowledge and skills gained for the benefit of their own country. The certificate is delivered at Level 2. The course is made up entirely of unit standards, therefore international students have the opportunity to gain an additional qualification under the NZQF if and when NZ Visa requirements allow this.

The course will cover both practical industry skills as well as theory and provides international students with an opportunity to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible for use in their own country. This will be done by exposing the students to:

  • Use of farm vehicles
  • Livestock Management
  • Fencing
  • Livestock Health
  • Livestock Feeding
  • Pastures
  • Dairy farm hygiene & milking
  • Injury and Safety factors
  • Practical experience

Emphasis will be on safety, improving productivity and efficiency. Students will be able to apply the skills and knowledge gained on the course and contribute to the improvement and development of overseas agricultural practices. The fostering of relationships in the industry is expected to provide a long term benefit to New Zealand.

After successfully completing all required unit standards, graduates will:

  • have an understanding of how they can increase farm productivity
  • have all round practical skills involved with farm machinery
  • be able to work competently with livestock
  • be able to increase productivity through improved livestock health
  • have an understanding of livestock feed management
  • be able to competently work in a dairy shed or woolshed
  • be able to identify farm hazards and recognise safety issues

The National Trade Academy Certificate in NZ Farm Skills will be awarded if and only if students have:

  • successfully passed all compulsory unit standards
  • gained 54 credits in total
  • abided by the code of conduct for overseas students

Course Schedule

The course is delivered over a consecutive period of 12 weeks. It includes 2 weeks of work experience. Each theory/practical week consists of:

  • Scheduled tutor delivery: 15 hours
  • Visits/demos/practice: 12 hours
  • Self-directed learning: 3 hours

Work Experience

  • The course will consist of field trips to a variety of farms as well as practical activities on our Training Farm
  • From week four work experience will take place on a local farm one day per week
  • Week 11 and 12 will consist of work experience on a farm for a full two week period

Driver's license and a vehicle is preferable but not essential.


  • NTA Certificate in New Zealand Farm Skills
  • National Certificate in Agriculture (Level 2) Dairy Farming

Entry Criteria

  • Students will have an agricultural background or an interest in agriculture in their own country
  • If English is not your first language applicants must sit on online English test to determine the additional level of english language lessons required to pass the qualification, to satisfy the academy that the sudent can successfully complete the course
  • Minimum age of 18 years old or turning 18 prior to end of the programme.

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