Trade initiative builds students' options

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2013
Southland Times photo
TERRI RUSSELL/Fairfax NZ
Gore High School students Luke McClintock, left, and Jacob Cornwall, both 16, are excited to start the manufacturing and technology pathway in Gore.

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A new trades initiative to give Southland school students more study and job options will see some start learning at tertiary institutions this week.

About 50 students from six schools will take part in the Hokonui Tertiary High School programme, which acts as another school subject for year 12 and 13 students.

It allows them to achieve their NCEA level 2 qualification while also completing other core subjects at their school.

It is a joint initiative between St Peter's College, Gore High School, Blue Mountain College, Menzies College, Northern Southland College, Fiordland College, Education Ministry, Telford, Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) and Hokonui Runanga.

Programme director Kate Leebody said the one-year courses were in manufacturing and technology, construction and infrastructure, primary industries and services industries.

Course projects included making grass karts for the 2013 South Island Grass Kart Challenge in Gore this year, and building a one-bedroom unit, she said.

Some students would be based at a new trades facility in Gore, Telford or Hokonui Runanga, she said. Buses would also be used to take students to use the facilities at Invercargill SIT occasionally, she said.

St Peter's College principal John Hogue said it was a wonderful development between schools and tertiary institutions.

In the past, schools competed to get students to university whereas now they were working together to share resources, facilities and infrastructure to provide more options for students, he said.

"It's another option that kids can take advantage of in their schooling.

"They can get level 2, stay engaged in their schooling, and it will lead them to employment," he said.

There were a lot of negotiations about funding streams because the schools and tertiary institutions were funded by different sources, Mr Hogue said.

Gore High School students Luke McClintock and Jacob Cornwall, both 16, will start the manufacturing and technology pathway in Gore this Friday.

Luke said he wanted to be an automotive engineer.

Making a grass cart would teach him a range of useful skills including welding.

While Jacob said he wanted to be a farmer, he thought he would try something different and see if he would enjoy engineering instead.

Staffing will be funded by the schools, courses and facilities by SIT.

terri.russell@stl.co.nz

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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