Ara to offer free ICT courses in Timaru
South Cantabrians wanting to become computer whizzes will soon be able to take advantage of a free ICT course.
Ara Institute of Canterbury is introducing a suite of Computing for Free programmes at the Timaru campus on July 25, with programmes in Ashburton and Oamaru to follow
The announcement came hot on the heels of news that Ara will be offering a degree-level qualification in South Canterbury for the first time.
Ara computing department spokesman Peter Nock said the nature of work was changing, and nowhere was that more evident than in the prevalence of technology in almost every area of people's lives.
"As a country and as a region we need to position ourselves to make the most of the opportunities that technology offers us. To do this we need to adopt an attitude of lifelong learning," he said.
"Upskilling has become a necessity in today's professional environment. Everyone needs to know their way around a computer and some people need to acquire further skills for their particular job or to take the next step in their career."
It was an "exciting time" to train for the computer industry, he said.
"We are currently developing new programmes that incorporate new technologies and offer rich learning experiences for our students."
The initiative was part of a wider plan to improve access to vocational training across the region, particularly reaching out to those who may not otherwise enrol in training, with more flexible learning delivery and innovative programmes aligned to industry expectations, he said.
Computing for Free offered a range of self-paced, non-assessed short courses for beginner to intermediate users in Microsoft Office, Web Design and Photoshop programs.
It also offered the National Certificate in Computing Level 3.
The programmes were pathways to computing programmes currently offered in Timaru.