Community Scoop

Extra places for trades training in the Wairarapa

Press Release – UCOL

Wairarapa secondary school students now have extra opportunities to make a head start on training for a well-paid job in trades.Extra places for trades training in the Wairarapa

Wairarapa secondary school students now have extra opportunities to make a head start on training for a well-paid job in trades.

UCOL is one of 10 training organisations nationwide appointed to lead new trades academies, providing tertiary level training for secondary students Years 11 to 13. They continue study at their school while gaining a tertiary qualification through the academy.

The new U-Skills Central Schools Academy has allocated extra places to the Wairarapa from its allotted overall pool of 100 places. Some are being filled by students from Makoura College which is partnering with U-Skills as a Hub school to provide tertiary-level trades training on site to the students. Further places are available to students at other Wairarapa secondary schools who can study at the UCOL Wairarapa campus.

The U-Skills Central Schools Academy allows students to make a start on a tertiary trades qualification while they are still enrolled at secondary school, studying for NCEALevel 2. The aim is to transition students from secondary into tertiary education and help meet skill shortages by encouraging young people into trades.

U-Skills manager Jacqui Phillips says Makoura will provide onsite training in Small Engines. The yearlong programme includes introductory training in Small Engines. The Principal of Makoura, Tom Hullena, says, “Makoura is supportive of initiatives that open up more and relevant vocational pathways for our students. We have been working with UCOL to ensure that our students are a part of this.”

A Fashion and Beauty programme will also be available through the U-Skills Academy, delivered at the UCOL Wairarapa campus. The so-called FAB programme includes hair and consumer care, fashion and catwalk, beauty and career and personal development.

UCOL is talking to secondary schools in the Wairarapa about students who may be suitable for study on the FAB programme next year.

Places have also been allocated to U-Skills Hub schools in Palmerston North, Whanganui and Horowhenua, with a further ‘pool’ of places available to students from other schools.

Jacqui says U-Skills offers the best of both worlds to students. “They can continue to enjoy the familiarity and support of their school environment, with their friends and cultural and sporting activities, while also experiencing study at a tertiary level that will help them build a career.”

Study on a U-Skills programme is free and transport to training venues is also free of cost.

However Jacqui says students will have to be ready to work hard. “In general they will study mostly during school hours but there may be some activities outside those hours – sometimes finishing at 5pm as they would in the work force.

“But it’s worth it. They have great options at the end of the year: Stay at school or go on to further study at UCOL, or go straight into employment or an apprenticeship.”

Managing U-Skills

Jacqui Phillips, the new manager of the UCOL-led U-Skills Central School Academy, was able to hit the ground running in her new role.

She took up the position during October, in time to take part in the naming of the new academy. She says the title reflects the importance of partnerships with schools in the success of the academy.

It is part of Jacqui’s job to foster the partnerships with hub providers and develop new ones with other schools. “We already have Awatapu College in Palmerston North, Makoura College in Masterton, Horowhenua College, City College and Intranz in Whanganui as hub providers of training for students on site.

“We are now talking to other secondary schools about identifying students for the places available to study at UCOL.”

Jacqui’s background is a good fit with the manager’s role. She has been Office Manager for Vision Manawatu and was previously Trades Mentor in the Tools for Schools (now Trade Connections) initiative, aimed at addressing skill shortages and increasing awareness of available training and employment. She has also been Registrar of Electors for Rangitikei and Whanganui and worked for two years with Income Support.

With her husband, she is a partner in a maintenance and diagnostics engineering company in Palmerston North. She has been working for UCOL on contract since April this year, liaising with schools on the concept of a trades academy.

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