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Lessons Learned in lockdown and beyond

At the beginning of 2020, the suggestion that many of us would be working from home for an extended period, keeping our distance from people in public, and maintaining a ‘bubble’ limited to just a few people, would have been met with disbelief, yet those became the norms we adopted and adapted to

Despite the challenges that have arisen from Covid-19, Primary ITO has continued supporting employers and their teams with new methods of learning. For employers, the isolation measures have reinforced the importance of their role as verifiers and trainers in supporting their team’s progress.

To start the year, Primary ITO ran face-to-face tutorial days in Hamilton and Wellington for landscape construction. With Covid-19 creating restrictions around social contact, tutorials have since moved to digital platforms.

Facilitating the progress of trainees in their apprenticeships remains just as important in the current situation and, given the circumstances, online tutoring stands as the most suitable option to achieve this.

Covid-19 has solidified the fact that, as a species, humans are inherently social, and the ability to share ideas and talk with our colleagues and classmates – even through video – is a crucial part of our day-to-day lives. That is why Primary ITO saw an opportunity to use technology so that trainees could retain the social element of their training

alongside coursework.

One example is Wintec tutor Rex Pepper, who began offering online tutoring for trainees in Otago, Wanaka, Queenstown, and Nelson through Zoom classes in mid-May. Although technology also provides the potential to reach greater numbers at once, Primary ITO decided that sticking with regional classes was more effective, as the smaller class numbers allow learners to interact more with each other and their tutor.

While there’s no doubt some will be missing the in-person interaction, the silver lining appears to be that it’s easier to

organise training days without having to manage travel for for both the trainer and the trainees.

Going forward, it is difficult to predict what the world will look like post-Covid-19. We understand that it may take businesses a long time to recover, and that the long tail of the virus could prevent us from ever returning to the ‘old normal’. However, as you can see, Primary ITO is committed to ensuring there’s no barrier to continuing to learn throughout this period.

Primary ITO will be proceeding with caution as restrictions change and work resumes, but will continue to use technology and rely on strong support to ensure training and learning still takes place.

For more information on the courses available for you and your team, including NZ Apprenticeships in Landscape Construction, visit

This article was written by Eve Williams, sector lead marketing at Primary ITO.

Primary ITO offers training in Landscape Construction at Levels 2, 3, and 4, including NZ Apprenticeships. For more information on landscape construction and other training, visit or call 0800 20 80 20


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