Trying before they buy into full-time study
More than 700 secondary school students will be recognised for their new skills gained through the EIT Schools Trades Academy in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne over the coming fortnight.
The predominantly Year 12 students have swapped school uniforms for overalls, safety boots, hi vis vests, chef hats and cooks aprons. The programmes allow students to experience a vocation while still at school by attending classes one day a week before committing to further study. It also provides insight into studying at a tertiary institute, Paul Hursthouse, EIT Trades Academy manager says.
“Our aim is to provide a safe learning environment where they can gain unit standard NCEA credits while being supported to learn new skills,” says Treena Watkins, coordinator of the Trades Academy. “It’s amazing to see the growth in confidence that the students gain from being here. There’s a noticeable change after the first few weeks. They enjoy being at our campuses and various off-site locations, as well as wearing mufti and the professional safety gear they may be issued as part of their respective programme,” she says.
“There’s an even bigger change in the students who come back as Year 13s or who enroll into full-time EIT programmes. It’s quite a transformation from school student to young adult.
Kathryn Fookes has made the most of her time in the automotive programme and won a Most Conscientious Student award.
The Year 12 Taradale High School student has wanted to be a mechanic. She plans to move from the Trades Academy into full-time EIT study next year.
“It’s what I plan to do for a living so I wanted to see what it would be like before I enrolled. I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s made me more certain that it’s what I want to do.”
She says being the only female in the programme hasn’t been an issue and she’s already sent in her enrolment. While she’s worked with her diesel mechanic dad on the family’s cars, she says her tutors taught her lots of new things.
“I can’t wait to be back next year.”
The trades offered include agriculture, animal care, automotive, bakery, building and construction, business, computing, engineering, forestry, hair and beauty, health and fitness, hospitality, primary industry, and traditional Ma¯ ori art designing and techniques.
■ Any student should register interest with their school’s Career Advisor who can guide them through the application process. More information is available online: www.eit.ac.nz/ subject-areas/trades-academy/
Kathryn Fookes, a 2018 EIT Hawke’s Bay Schools Trades Academy automotive participant is already enrolled for full-time automotive trades training at EIT next year.