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Polytechnic connecting West Coast communities

Community connections support learning pathways

Tai Poutini Polytechnic is the West Coast’s largest tertiary and vocational training provider, but we’re more than a polytechnic.

Our community engagement team works with West Coast schools, employers, business, industry representatives and community groups to understand the region’s training and employment needs. Our programmes are designed to meet those needs and support the economic and social development of our great region.

Building strong partnerships with our community is key to our role in training and supporting West Coasters to fill West Coast jobs.

  • High school liaison – we have a dedicated Secondary Tertiary Liaison Coordinator to build strong relationships with secondary schools, teachers, careers advisers, students and more. Creating seamless pathways between secondary and tertiary education is key to helping young people progress their careers. We also work to establish new and emerging training needs and support great high school development programmes like the Young Enterprise Scheme Business Challenge.
  • Employers and businesses – the West Coast is a unique region and our local businesses are always looking for staff with the right skills to do the
    job. We seek industry input into our programme development, talk to local employers and work to build partnerships with business so we’re meeting local needs.
  • Community support – the strength of our community is in our people. Our community engagement team actively seeks the input of community groups and agencies to support local initiatives. We know that if we have strong connections to the community, regional leaders and support agencies we’re going to do a better job of meeting the region’s training and employment needs.

We live in the region and we love the West Coast. We all bring our own community connections to the job and we love to bring people together and make good things happen.'


Using connections to create community benefits

New Zealand is changing the way it delivers tertiary training. Tai Poutini Polytechnic is now a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga, the new national vocational training organisation.

Te Pūkenga is reimagining vocational training and putting learners at the centre of our work. Being part of the reforms means Tai Poutini Polytechnic has access to more resources, more opportunities for partnerships and the ability to be more innovative for our community.

We’re playing a big part in the sector reforms, testing new ideas and being proactive with initiatives. Being part of the change means we can help secure the future of training on the West Coast. Recent successes have been:

  • Our partnership with Primary ITO to make it easier for agriculture students to carry out their training on and off the farm around their work commitments.
  • Getting together with Open Polytechnic of New Zealand to offer more flexible and online training options on the Coast, while still providing all the benefits of on-campus learning and support.

 By being proactive we’re keeping the West Coast relevant and creating real benefits.


Tai Poutini Polytechnic in the community 

We’re more than a polytechnic. We are part of the nationwide Te Pūkenga network, providing on campus and online learning opportunities. As the West Coast’s largest tertiary education provider and one of the region’s significant employers, it’s also our job to get behind local initiatives and help make great things happen for our people. You’ll often see our community engagement team, tutors and staff out-and-about at local events to help create connections between the community and learning.

You might have seen us at:

  • West Coast Pathways Roadshow – touring the region and bringing all our education, social and development agencies together in one place.
  • West Coast Careers Expo – bring together dozens of employers, trainers and industry representatives to talk to students and job seekers about opportunities.
  • Young Enterprise Scheme – we coordinate the annual business challenge, where high school students get mentoring and support to pitch and roll-out their business plans.
  • West Coast Trades Academy – we’re the largest regional education provider for the high school programme.
  • Careers Hui – our careers team brings together regional education, employment and careers professionals regularly to share ideas and work on new initiatives.
  • Local events – you’ll see the team at plenty of local events like AgFest, Childrens’ Day, Waitangi Day celebrations, the weekly market and more!


Career Hub connects community 

The Coast Connect Employment and Careers Hub creates opportunities for Coasters to connect, create relationships and find jobs. Coast Connect works with job seekers, students, local businesses, training providers and employers to create better outcomes for the West Coast.

The Hub is open to the public at Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Greymouth campus and you’re welcome to drop in any time. At the Hub, you’ll be able to speak with Coast Connect staff to get help preparing your CV, considering study options, learning interview skills and more.

Hub staff also spend time out in the region, talking to industry representatives, high schools, local employers and businesses to find out what skills they are looking for and help get local job seekers prepared for real jobs. We’re always keen to talk, so if you haven’t heard from us, give us a call on 0800 CCNNCT (0800 226 628). 

At the Coast Connect Employment and Careers Hub you’ll have access to resources to help you prepare for your new career. These include:

  • Information on career and study options
  • Searching for a job
  • Guides to preparing a CV
  • Assistance with interview skills and preparation
  • Career action plan creation
  • Supporting and encouraging you to get back on your feet
  • Career planning tools
  • Internet access to help with the job process
  • And more!


Read the full newsletter here.