Polytech set to increase trades roll

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2014

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Aoraki Polytechnic is focusing on doubling its student numbers in the trades and primary industry training.

Chief executive Alex Cabrera said the polytech is focusing on meeting the needs of local industry.

The change in focus follows three years of deficits, redundancies and student losses.

"We are building a programme portfolio that contributes to the economic development of our region. We continue to talk to industry to understand their needs.

"We are also developing a new suite of short programmes and courses to complement our existing programme portfolio and meet the needs of our local industry," Cabrera said.

"Programme offerings are based on demand within our regions. Our programme portfolio next year will be similar to 2014 with an increase on flexible delivery options."

It was anticipated that the primary industry portfolio will continue to grow from 45 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS) in 2013 to 108 EFTS in 2014 and 227 in 2015. Similarly with trades, from 59 in 2013 to 90 in 2014 and 120 in 2015.

"Aoraki is in the process of transitioning into areas of priority for the region such as primary industries and trades.

"We are concentrating on the areas where students have the most likelihood of being able to walk into a job."

Inquiries for 2015 were on par with previous years, he said.

"At the moment we are concentrating on semester two 2014. Some programmes have already started with others starting between now and October."

Alternative course deliveries were being developed. The Certificate in Professional Office Management would include a work-based delivery.

Mobile devices will be used to support trades training and redeveloped to incorporate three days on campus and two days at a workplace.

A cadetship programme was being developed for agriculture. Weekend and evening delivery was also planned for pre-trade painting and decorating.

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- The Timaru Herald

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