Two new aquaculture scholarships offered to NMIT students will help to develop commercial fish farming into a billion-dollar industry by 2025, says New Zealand King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne.
The two scholarships will be available to students, under 25 years old, who are enrolled on year one and year two of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology's two-year Diploma in Aquaculture, from 2014.
The year one scholarship covers half a year's course costs, while the other pays for the full year. Domestic course fees are $5633 a year.
Paid work experience during semester breaks and summer holidays could also be a component of the scholarships, Mr Rosewarne said.
The new scholarships were designed to assist students financially as well as to enhance students' understanding of the aquaculture industry.
"Aquaculture is one of the region's major industries and we are delighted to support up and coming talent.
"The Government has set a target for aquaculture in New Zealand to be a billion-dollar industry by 2025. To achieve that, we need to have qualified, professional people to work in the industry," he said.
NMIT chief executive Dr Tony Gray said the institute was proud to be partnering with New Zealand King Salmon on the scholarships.
"The importance of scholarships goes well beyond their monetary value. While scholarships make things easier financially for students, they also importantly provide a catalyst to get people into tertiary training and an incentive for them to stay in the region," he said.
NMIT aquaculture programme co-ordinator Dr Mark Burdass said the aquaculture industry offered excellent career prospects.
NMIT had worked closely with industry partners to develop the country's first and only Diploma in Aquaculture, which was on the cutting edge of aquaculture training nationally, he said,
Mr Burdass said the first students graduated from the two-year programme last year and were now working.
- © Fairfax NZ News