Trades cour­ses start­ing to fill up

Kapi-Mana News - - EDUCATION -

A sec­ond wave of Pa­cific trades trainees will join cour­ses at WelTec and Whi­tireia Polytech­nic in March.

Last year, in a unique part­ner­ship be­tween ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions (TEOs) and Pa­cific churches, some 320 Pa­cific peo­ple around the coun­try joined in­tro­duc­tory cour­ses to learn trades in sec­tors where skills short­ages have been made worse by the Christchurch re­build.

The Government put aside $6 mil­lion for the Pa­cific Trades Train­ing Ini­tia­tive, which cov­ers the course fees of those ac­cepted for the scheme.

In the Welling­ton re­gion, 80 of th­ese schol­ar­ships were avail­able for those study­ing car­pen­try, brick and block lay­ing and paint­ing at WelTec and Whi­tireia.

A sim­i­lar num­ber of places are avail­able at the two lo­cal poly­tech­nics this year.

On Jan­uary 30, Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Steven Joyce and Pa­cific Is­land Af­fairs Min­is­ter Hekia Parata at­tended a func­tion for the 67 lo­cal grad­u­ates.

The event was hosted by the Fel­low­ship of Samoan Min­is­ters Welling­ton Re­gion, a group that WelTec and Whi­tireia have ac­knowl­edged as be­ing key to the success of last year’s train­ing.

‘‘The ini­tia­tive was devel­oped to reach Pa­cific stu­dents who may not nor­mally con­sider en­ter­ing into trades such as car­pen­try, join­ery and plumb­ing.

‘‘ It’s fan­tas­tic to see Pa­cific stu­dents suc­ceed­ing as a re­sult of its in­tro­duc­tion,’’ Mr Joyce said last week.

Ms Parata thanked Pa­cific church min­is­ters who have taken a lead role.

‘‘They worked closely with ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions (TEOs) to mo­bilise large num­bers of Pa­cific peo­ples, to get them in­volved and raise the pro­file of trades as a vi­able ca­reer op­tion.

‘‘ Their on- go­ing sup­port and men­tor­ing of stu­dents has also been a key in­gre­di­ent in the success of the ini­tia­tive.’’

This year Pasi­fika schol­ar­ships are avail­able for in­tro­duc­tory car­pen­try cour­ses run by WelTec and Whi­tireia at Pe­tone, Porirua and Otaki. Both in­sti­tu­tions are also of­fer­ing plumb­ing train­ing.

WelTec is also of­fer­ing block and brick­lay­ing, me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing and paint­ing while Whi­tireia is of­fer­ing civil con­struc­tion and elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing.

Cour­ses start in March and places are fill­ing fast. Visit the WelTec or Whi­tireia web sites and click on the ‘‘Pa­cific’’ but­tons.

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