enews june 2022


Stakeholder News | June 2022 

Kia ora koutou,
It’s been another busy month for us and I’ve enjoyed working with our community partners on a range of initiatives and activities. We continue to pursue our work on the new Conservation and Employment Hub – a big thank you to everyone who is involved in this initiative which is being watched closely at a national level. It was also fantastic to see so many people taking part in events for this year’s Techweek. Each year the Polytechnic supports the event to help bring tech-focused events and activities to the region and we’ve seen it grow over time. With 18 events in 2022 it was a great opportunity for people to come together and talk tech. Finally, a reminder that our mid-year programmes start soon but there is still time to enrol for anyone looking to upskill or start on a career path.

Ngā mihi,
Alex Cabrera
Chief Executive

Horticulture programme contributes to green economy focus


A new horticulture training programme, aimed at those looking to turn their interest in growing into a career, is one of the first to be offered by Tai Poutini Polytechnic through the new Conservation Training and Employment Hub.
The Westport‐based programme starts in July and offers flexible learning options in partnership with the Open Polytechnic. Covering the basics for growing plants from seeds, propagation, soil management, pest and weed control, pruning and landscaping, the programme is aimed at those looking to start a career in the horticulture industry, or people who want to improve their skills and knowledge. And even better - learners enrolling in the programme are eligible for free fees under the Government’s Covid‐19 recovery fund.
Manager Teaching and Learning Peter O’Sullivan says it is an ideal learning option for those who are looking to begin their learning journey or to become more self‐sufficient or feed themselves and their whānau off their own land.
“The new programme is linked to our Conservation Training and Employment Hub, which supports the evolution of a nature centred economy on the West Coast. With issues of climate change, geographic isolation and the cost of living all having an impact on West Coasters, the idea of becoming more self‐ sustainable is gaining more and more traction.
“This new horticulture programme will get your green fingers working and with part‐time study options also so you can learn around your own work and whānau commitments and gain a deeper understanding of how to grow and sustain yourself.
“This is an introductory programme however there are plenty of future career options that those wanting to go further could pursue, including landscape design, become an arborist, or getting started in the nursey or fruit and vegetable growing industries. Whatever you want to achieve, the NZ Certificate in Horticulture help start you on your journey.”
Through a partnership with the Open Polytechnic, Tai Poutini Polytechnic is offering this programme on the West Coast with the flexibility of on‐line learning combined with face to face teaching sessions.
“It’s really the best of both worlds with support and encouragement from our tutors as well as online and flexible learning options that will help you to follow your career goals or simply learn to live better off the land.”

Learner satisfaction on the rise at Tai Poutini Polyechnic

Student satisfaction with their studies at Tai Poutini Polytechnic has risen in the past year, with almost all learners in 2021 happy with their training and considering it valuable for their future.

Independently collected survey data shows overall student satisfaction rose four percentage points in 2021 on the previous year, with 99% of students rating their satisfaction a four or five out of five. Also in 2021, 100% of Tai Poutini Polytechnic Māori graduates rated their overall satisfaction a five out of five.

Chief Executive Alex Cabrera says this is an excellent result for the institute that reflects significant effort in recent times to focus on the delivery of quality, sustainable vocational education that meets the needs of the West Coast.
“I’m very pleased with the survey outcomes and proud of the work our staff have put in to support learners and ensure they achieve the results and outcomes they need to continue their learning and work journeys.
“In recent years we’ve implemented a range of performance improvement measures that have focused on the quality of our programmes, a focus on meeting regional employment needs and the way we support and encourage our learners to achieve. We’ve seen our national quality rating – carried out by NZQA – improve in recent years and these most recent learner satisfaction outcomes are the proof of the hard work that has gone in.”
Other results from 2021 student surveys include the finding that learners who believed their programme represented value for money in 2021 rose six percentage points on the previous year, to 99%. The percentage of students who would recommend their programme to a friend or colleague (called the "net promoter score”) was 74% ‐ this is significantly above national averages, with any score above 50 considered “excellent”.
Some of the statement‐focused questions also show a very pleasing outcome for 2021:

  • “The programme helped me to realise the goals I set when I enrolled” – 99% “agree” or “tend to agree”.
  • “I learned to apply skills and knowledge gained from my programme to new situations – 99% “agree” or “tend to agree”.
  • “I consider what I learned valuable for my future” – 99% “agree” or “tend to agree”.
  • “The programme prepared me for work in my chosen career” – 97% “agree” or “tend to agree”.
  • “The programme made me want to learn more” – 97% “agree” or “tend to agree”.

In terms of future activities, 60% of students surveyed were working at the time while 44% indicated they were either currently studying, enrolled to study or intended to study more in the future.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic measures student outcomes through two reports. The Graduate Outcome Report asks graduates about their studies from the previous year and determines whether or not they have gone into employment or further study. The Graduate Outcomes Benchmark report provide a comparison of Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s graduates to other subsidiary graduates. The reports are prepared by Otago Polytechnic Organisational Research on behalf of institutes of technology.

New cafe skills programme responds to West Coast demand


Strong demand from learners and employers, and the expectation that border re-openings will stoke the West Coast tourism industry, has prompted Tai Poutini Polytechnic to offer a new café skills programme through the West Coast Trades Academy.

The programme will start in June and offer students the opportunity to learn the skills needed to work in the busy café and hospitality industry. Tai Poutini Polytechnic is the largest provider of training options through the West Coast Trades Academy which gives secondary students options to start vocational training in different areas.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Manager Teaching and Learning Moira Todd says the programme is being offered in the second half of this year due to strong interest from learners keen to get started in the café business, and demand from local employers for skilled staff.

“At Tai Poutini Polytechnic we aim to be flexible and responsive to the local industry in order to meet the training and employment needs of the West Coast. We’re excited to offer this hands-on programme to high school students through the Trades Academy and we know it will help them get started on a career in hospitality.

“Covid-19 has had an impact on business right around the region, but there is still demand for skilled workers in the hospitality industry. As the international borders reopen, we expect tourists to return to the West Coast to sample our unique environment, exciting adventure opportunities and experience our friendly hospitality. Businesses are going to need more skilled workers to welcome our guests and make sure they have a fantastic West Coast experience.”

The course offers learners the chance to gain a variety of hands-on skills in food preparation, beverage making, barista skills, front-of-house, customer service and baking. Students learn in a real-world environment at the Polytechnic commercial kitchen and service delivery in the Tutoro Restaurant. The course is available to Year 12 and 13 students from June.

West Coast Trades Academy Manager Tania Washer says the Café Skills course brings a range of new opportunities to our West Coast students, offering much needed skills to our local hospitality employers.

“Students are opting to take up the course with plans for tertiary study next year, using the course as a way to gain knowledge for valuable work opportunities whilst at polytechnic or University. Through funding from the Ministry of Education, all West Coast Trades Academy courses are free to all students.”

Techweek wows West Coast attendees


Techweek ’22 was a big success this year, with 18 events hosted up and down the West Coast.
Visitors and attendees to the huge range of sessions, events and talks enjoyed learning more about everything tech on the West Coast.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic has once again supported the annual nationwide tech event, which showcases and celebrates New Zealand technology. Techweek is a nationwide series of events, providing a platform for everyone to meet, share ideas and create connections for a better tomorrow. Tai Poutini Polytechnic supports the national tech event by promoting and coordinating locally focused events here on the West Coast.
A big thank you goes to everyone involved in this year’s events for bringing some amazing opportunities to the West Coast. We can’t wait to build on the great success of this year and look forward to 2023!

West Coast hub provides a model for national learning


 Photo from left to right: David Mason - Tai Poutini Polytechnic Te Kaiwhakahaere o Mātauranga Māori, Hudson Dodd - The Nature Conservancy, Rebecca Keoghan – Tai Poutini Polytechnic Board Chair, Jamie Cleine - Buller District Mayor, Ned Tauwhare - Buller District Councillor, Alex Cabrera – Tai Poutini Polytechnic Chief Executive, Sharon Mason - Buller District Council Chief Executive and Di Rossiter - Buller District Council Sustainability Project Manager.

The Westport-based Conservation Training and Employment Hub was officially opened at the end of March, bringing together West Coast employers, learners, mana whenua, local government and the vocational training sector to address local environmental needs and support the regional economy.
The Hub is a fantastic example of what can be achieved under New Zealand’s new direction for vocational education – the Te Pūkenga model which brings together tertiary providers across the country and puts the emphasis on the learner, cross-sector collaboration and partnerships.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Board Chair Rebecca Keoghan explains how the Polytechnic is using the Hub as a model for what can be achieved under Te Pūkenga – read more about how the West Coast is leading the way at: West Coast Conservation Training and Employment Hub a model for New Zealand learning » Tai Poutini Polytechnic (tpp.ac.nz)

Grab a taste of Tai Poutini Polytechnic


Locals can book now to sample the culinary skills of Tai Poutini Polytechnic cookery students at one of our Tutoro Restaurant lunch events.
The Polytechnic restaurant is open for lunch bookings on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 of July with three sittings available each day. Cookery students are working hard on the menus and details, including costs, will be confirmed closer to the time. Keep an eye on our Facebook event page for all updates.
If you’re keen to sample a true culinary treat, contact our Greymouth campus reception to find out more – 0800 800 411.

Still time to enrol for programmes starting mid-year 

Mid year programmes

 Thinking about upskilling, learning a trade or trying something new? Check out Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s mid-year programmes – there’s still time to enrol and start on your own learning pathway.

Many of the training options a free under the Government’s Covid-19 recovery programme and you’re sure to find something to suit you. Find out more at 2022 Programmes starting soon » Tai Poutini Polytechnic (tpp.ac.nz)
Mid-year programme options include:

For further study options including short courses visit www.tpp.ac.nz/shortcourses