by Katrina Ferguson

RTA - Rural Trades Academy

Ellesmere College is one of the few lucky schools that offer a Rural Trades Programme.

RTA (Rural Trades Academy) is offered to our students as a 2 year course. Students get the opportunity to gain credits while having hands on farm experience.

We are currently the only school in New Zealand that have a tractor driving course on site. In addition to this RTA students take a Health & Safety course, first aid course and last year 6 of our students took part in a chainsaw course.

We have been fortunate enough to be supported by ESAI who have funding some of our courses, we also teamed up with them to build 60 possum traps to be distributed around local farms. This was such an exciting project to be involved in!

In addition students attend 4 trips throughout the year, these will often be to local farms again I'd like to say a sincere thank you to all of the local businesses that have been kind enough to give up their time for us.

I look forward to seeing the department grow this year and hope to see some new exciting projects along the way. Watch this space!