About the National Trade Academy

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Practical Skills, Knowledge, Qualifications & Employment


We have been providing land-based education and training since 2000. We pride ourselves in teaching our students the practical skills and knowledge required for successful careers in the land-based industries.

The National Trade Academy is registered as a Private Training Establishment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) under the provisions of the Education Act 1989 and its subsequent amendments.
NTA is Category One Provider:
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Our Training Centre offers purpose-built specialist facilities to ensure you receive quality, professional training. Located just ten minutes from Christchurch city allows our students access to practical training on the land, with the option of living in a metropolitan area. Based in Mcleans Island in the Waimakariri River Regional Park, The National Trade Academy has 70 hectares of facilities to explore.

All students are involved in the day to day running and development of the Farm, Farm Park, Commercial nursery and Riding school. On-site we have classrooms, a forestry block, horticulture gardens and commercial nursery, glasshouse, shade house, tool sheds, irrigated pastures, student common room, farm animals, sand 'all-weather' riding arenas, stables and yards. Everything you expect from a top-quality, land-based training facility is conveniently all on one site.

We provide all the equipment that you need, so you can learn in a safe and professional environment. We believe in establishing confidence for performing tasks independently and with efficiency. To do this, you need to be well protected and have plenty of opportunities to practice your skills. We provide an environment which teaches this behaviour because it's what employers are looking for in their staff.

At our Training Centre, we have motorbikes, ATVs, fencing tools, trailers, agrichemical equipment, safety equipment such as helmets, tractors, stockyards, chainsaws, tools and a fully equipped equestrian centre with a full range of equine tack.

A combination of theory and practical training gives students the very best opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge they require to find employment in their chosen sector. Practical-minded students thrive at NTA New Zealand with the 'hands-on' learning we offer each day.

Trained and experienced tutors with small classes, make sure that students receive quality training. All our tutors have relevant qualifications and experience in the industries they are educating students.

Some staff have their own businesses or New Zealand farms, which gives students a unique insight into what working in their chosen industry may be like. All staff at NTA have a real commitment to our students. We will go the extra mile when placing students into a job and ensuring a positive outcome for all involved.

We are the first point of call for many employers seeking staff for their businesses. Due to the growth in the land-based industry sectors, especially the dairy sector, we have seen an increase in demand for employees with a range of pre-employment skills.

By enrolling at the National Trade Academy, you are not only getting training and qualifications, but you are also provided with a platform to enter the industry directly. Work experience and suitable job placement support your first step into the industry, ensuring success on your chosen career path in the future.

We have a superb range of courses. The National Trade Academy has been the winner of the Education New Zealand award for 'Innovation in an International Programme Award'. They recognised our creative approach to education. The programme we've created allows international Agriculture students to come to New Zealand to study English and Agriculture. After which, they work on dairy farms around New Zealand's South Island.

We offer international students courses in Agriculture, Equine, Horticulture and Animal Care studies and English language. We have continued our innovative approach to education by developing options for international students to combine their English language study with unique New Zealand experiences. Some of which are English & Horse Riding, English & Agriculture and English & Horticulture.