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Apprenticeship scheme

At Pāmu, we are committed to developing future farmers. In January 2025, we’re launching a dedicated apprenticeship scheme to help young people step into the agricultural sector.

Based in the Central North Island, our apprentices will live on site and earn while they learn. They will be offered a permanent role with Pāmu, so even after the scheme is finished, they will have a guaranteed job. 

If you don’t have any farming experience or you’re not sure if you want to work in dairy or livestock, this is the apprenticeship scheme for you! Apprentices will get mixed experience in the first year while working towards a level 3 qualification, then decide whether to go into dairy or livestock in year two of the scheme. 

We’re looking for up to nine grounded rangatahi with a passion for the rural sector who are keen to study towards level 3 and level 4 qualifications and grow their career. 

If you apply to join the Pāmu Apprenticeship Scheme and your application is successful, you could: 

  • join an industry that has fantastic career prospects for outdoor-loving, hardworking people 
  • achieve a nationally recognised qualification in farming 
  • gain on-farm experience across a range of farm types in the Central North Island 
  • make lifelong friendships with like-minded people 
  • learn from experienced farmers and industry-specialist trainers who are committed to helping you succeed 
  • have access to a dedicated Apprenticeship Scheme Manager to help you get used to the world of work and support your learning. 

Application process

Applications are now open until Wednesday 31 July. 

Apply here.

Any questions can be directed to

The course

Year 1 – Foundations of farming – starting January 2025

  • Live on a Pāmu farm a few minutes’ north of Taupō. 
  • Work across several farms in the Taupō region, experiencing both dairy and livestock farming. 
  • Start working towards a level 3 qualification in agriculture. 
  • Start getting practical experience such as animal husbandry, dairy farming, calving, stock rotation and pasture management. 
  • Safely learn to operate vehicles – utes, motorbikes, tractors. 
  • In addition to your study for a formal qualification, we’ll support you to develop skills for life such as budgeting, time management and routines for wellbeing. 
  • Our dedicated Apprenticeship Scheme Manager will be overseeing your learning programme and will also be available to support your transition to independent living.

Year 2 – Specialised learning and development – starting January 2026

  • Build on the foundations of your first year by specialising in either dairy or livestock farming.
  • Live and work on one farm (either Dairy or Livestock), which could be anywhere in New Zealand.
  • Complete your level 3 qualification.
  • Start working towards your level 4 qualification.
  • Work with our Apprenticeship Scheme Manager to agree a tailored individual learning plan with ongoing support.

Year 3 and beyond – Independent study – starting January 2027

  • From your third year, you’ll be building on the experience you have gained through your first two years. 
  • You will continue to work independently towards your level 4 qualification.
  • Stay connected to the apprenticeship network and share your experience with new apprentices coming through.
Pāmu Apprenticeship Scheme Programme overview – years one and two

Key dates

Who can apply

The Pāmu Apprenticeship Scheme is open to everyone across New Zealand, with a focus on attracting young people into the industry. You need to be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident with an intention to make your career in the agricultural sector and a target of completing Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications in agriculture.

You might not have decided if you want to be a livestock or dairy farmer yet, and that’s okay, our course offers both pathways.

You might not have any previous farming experience, and you don’t need to have studied agriculture at school.

How to apply

Throughout May 2024, you can register your interest – just click on the button at the top of this page.

You’ll be notified when applications open in July 2024, and you’ll have one month to apply.

Any questions can be sent to

Costs and pay

As an apprentice employee, you will be paid a training wage for year one on the scheme and be required to pay rent, power and electricity for your shared accommodation at a low price. You will also be rewarded with achievement-based pay increases throughout the scheme as you progress with your level 3 studies. 

When you start year two, you will be integrated onto a farm anywhere in New Zealand and be paid minimum wage while you complete the rest of your level 3 qualification and begin level 4. 

You will be bonded to Pāmu during your first 20 months. That means, if you leave before finishing the level 3 qualification, we will look to recoup part of the money we invested in you when you started the scheme. This amount will depend on how far you get in your first 20 months. The terms will be outlined fully in your employment agreement


As a year one apprentice, you will work and live on Aratiatia Farm just north of Taupō. You’ll be housed in one of three fully furnished houses, sharing with up to three other apprentices. All houses meet New Zealand healthy homes standards. 

You’ll have your own bedroom, including a study desk, with shared kitchen, bathroom and lounge with your flatmates. You will be able to use a Pāmu laptop during your two years in the scheme to complete the online elements of the qualifications. 

This might be your first experience of independent living, so to get you started, we’ll provide guidance on some life skills so that you and your flatmates can manage groceries, cooking, laundry, cleaning and sharing costs for house utilities. Our Apprenticeship Scheme Manager will be available to provide guidance and support as needed. 

After the first year, you’ll move to one of our other Pāmu farms across New Zealand, depending on your chosen speciality.

What you'll need

  • All apprentices will be provided with farm outerwear – boots and a high-vis vest.
  • We’ll provide you with a laptop and mobile phone for work use.
  • You will have access to a pool vehicle to get around the farms, travel to courses and to run personal errands like shopping.
  • A gear list will be sent to the successful apprentices so you will know what you need to bring with you – it will include all bedding, clothing and personal items.
  • Unfortunately, we can’t accommodate pets – including working dogs – in your first year of study.


We’re here to help. Pāmu has a dedicated Apprenticeship Scheme Manager who can help you to overcome both academic and non-academic challenges.

Carl Carmichael, Aratiatia Farm Manager

Carl is the Farm Manager for Aratiatia and he will be looking after the apprentices as an on-site contact supported by the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager.

How long have you been at Pāmu? 

I started full-time in 2015 at Te Whārua as a Fencer General and then grew my career to Farm Manager at Waiteti. In January 2023, I started as Farm Manager at Aratiatia Farm. 

What’s your favourite thing about farming? 

Challenging myself and pushing the boundaries to get the best out of the performance, seeing your team grow and development through coaching on farm.

Any career highlights? 

I got to travel to South America for 10 days with Beef + Lamb NZ. 

Any advice for someone considering a career in farming? 

The farming industry is a challenging industry but provides great opportunities for career growth. You can create your own pathway with whatever direction you want to take

Employee assistance and benefits

As a full-time Pāmu employee, you will have access to our staff benefits:

  • Safe, warm, affordable houses
  • Safety and wellbeing initiatives, including PPE and tools fit for the job
  • Fully covered health insurance
  • Up to 4% KiwiSaver matching
  • Career development.

Apprentices are also eligible to access the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Our EAP is to provide employees and their immediate family members with confidential assistance for any work-related or personal problems or trauma issues that may impact their work. This may include the provision of specialist services, including help with emotional and psychological problems, stress, budgeting and legal problems.

Information for family, friends and whānau

For many of our apprentices, this will be their first time living away from home. In the first few weeks, we’ll be helping them with the transition by coaching them in how to be a good flatmate and taking care of themselves. Life skills courses will be provided through the year one curriculum to set up our rangatahi for success with budgeting, time management and routines for wellbeing. 

For the first year, the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager will mentor all apprentices and take care of their pastoral needs as well as provide learning and course advice. They won’t be living on site with the apprentices but they will be only a phone call away. Parents, whānau and caregivers will be able to contact the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager with any questions or concerns. 

All apprentices will need to agree to the Pāmu code of conduct. This will help to keep them safe, and we expect good standards of behaviour of all apprentices as a condition of remaining in the scheme. 

All apprentices will be required to live in one of our houses on a Pāmu farm 15 minutes’ north of Taupō in the first year. These houses all meet New Zealand healthy homes standards. The houses are fully furnished with modern heating. Apprentices only need to bring their own bedding and personal items. A full gear list will be provided to the successful applicants. Apprentices will pay low-cost rent and shared costs of utilities, including power and internet. 

Visitors need to leave by 9pm to be respectful of other people who live in the house.


If you have questions about the Pāmu Apprenticeship Scheme, contact us at