Pupils not so keen on school are getting a head start in industry training at Aoraki Polytechnic.
As part of the Vocational Pathways (V-path) programme, 21 high school pupils spend every Friday learning trade skills, gaining NCEA credits along the way.
This is the second year that the polytech has run the programme, with pupils from Timaru Girls' High School, Waitaki Girls' High School and St Kevin's College in Oamaru, Ashburton College, and Mount Hutt College at Methven, taking part.
Aoraki Polytech youth adviser Craig Courtis said the programme aims to keep the year 12 students, some of whom are at risk of dropping out, at school.
He said the thing that impresses him is that the pupils, who travel long distances, are still committed and enthusiastic about their courses, despite the long days.
In this V-path programme there are three courses on offer; automotive, hair and beauty, and hospitality.
Each course has a mix of practical and theory modules and builds up to an end-of-year assessment.
Courtis said they try to keep the courses as practical as possible and the tutors with industry experience offer the pupils insight to what they can expect in a career.
Most of the pupils enter the course because they know that is the career path they want to take.
Timaru Girls' pupil Georgia Appleby, 17, wants to go into the hospitality industry and said she has learnt a lot of the future skills she will need only seven weeks into the course.
Courtis said at the end of the year the pupils will get NCEA endorsement for the courses they complete.
- The Timaru Herald