Digger School to set‐up in Westport

Following strong demand from the local community, Tai Poutini Polytechnic will run its popular Civil Plant programme in Westport from the end of July.

The programme – known as the "Digger School" – will continue to be offered in Greymouth and
Auckland. Interest from the Westport community and demand from employers has led to the decision to expand the programme to run in Westport.

Students learn how to operate a range of heavy machinery to prepare them for jobs in the busy civil construction and extractive industries. Those enrolling in the programme are eligible for free fees under the Government’s post-Covid-19 recovery package.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic Manager of Teaching and Learning Peter O’Sullivan says there’s plenty of work available in the Buller with new developments underway and projects funded under the Provincial Growth Fund, along with a strong and healthy extractive industry, so it makes sense to expand the programme north.

“We’ll run it just as we do in Greymouth, with a focus on practical, hands-on training that get students
competent and safe on a range of heavy machinery. The training is all about getting graduates into jobs on the Coast so we’ll continue working closely with local employers to get them people that are ready for work.

“We’re still calling for enrolments, and anticipating that the programme will start with 14 students. Interest is strong from Westport social and work agencies in the possibilities the programme offers.” The Westport Civil Plant programme is scheduled to start on 26 July and be based at our Trades Campus in Coates Street. This 25-week programme aims to get students ready for entry-level jobs in the construction, extractive and civil industries.

The programme is perfect forschool-leavers or people with no prior experience in the industry who will gain practical experience on machinery, safety training and contact with industry employers. Students learn on diggers, earthmovers and other heavy machinery. Graduateswill have gained their appropriate licence endorsements including Wheels, Tracks and Rollers. The programme is also relevant for people already working in the construction, forestry or mining industries who want to up-skill and push their career to the next level.


For more information contact:
Mequa Hourston, Leader Engagement
DDI: 03 7699 405 | Mobile: 027 237 5844 | email: mequah@tpp.ac.nz