Stakeholder News | June 2021
We’re halfway through 2021 and there continues to be lots of action locally and nationally as vocational training changes roll out. We’ve had a busy start to the month welcoming Te Pūkenga executive leaders to campus as they tour the country to share news on development of the new tertiary training model with institutes and learners. We also hosted a really successful West Coast Pathways Career Expo – it was great to see so many people turn-out in Westport and Greymouth to discuss all the training and employment opportunities out there.
TPP Chief Executive
Students get the right advice at expo events
Outdoor Adventurer and motivational speaker - William Pike, inspired the audience during the West Coast Pathways Career Expo
Hundreds of school students from right across the West Coast got a glimpse into their future this month at the West Coast Pathways Career Expo.
The expo was held in Westport and Greymouth with students from most schools across the region attending one of the events. They were able to talk and listen to the more than 40 businesses and training providers who were on hand to lend advice and offer options for future careers.
A highlight was guest speaker William Pike, a New Zealand explorer and known to many primary schools through the annual William Pike challenges which encourages children to push themselves and try something new.
Paroa school student Grace Hahn said it was awesome to meet William Pike for real and hear his story. “I am having heaps of fun doing the Challenge and it was so cool to meet him for real. He told us to give things a go and he had great stories to tell.”
Ella Mahuika Grey High student said having all the different training and employment people together in one place was really helpful. “I have some ideas about what I want to do after school, so being able to talk to people directly and get some advice on what I should do next was really great.”
Kayla Hibbs, West Coast Trades Academy Co-ordinator said she must have spoken to over a hundred students during the course of the two days. “There are so many options out there and jobs on the West Coast for people with the right training. It’s fantastic to be able to get in front of them, share a bit about our story and encourage them to take the next step.”
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Leader Engagement Mequa Hourston says there was a phenomenal turnout.
“There was such a buzz at both events and I know everyone loved talking to the people in the know. Our guest speakers were just amazing. They inspired all of the people listening and a big thank you goes to them for their involvement.
“I’d also like to thank the dozens of people behind the scenes who helped make this major event happen. There was a lot of collaboration, organisation and hard work in the weeks leading up to these events and in making them happen.
“Getting behind the road show is one of the ways we are supporting our community. We are more than a polytechnic: Tai Poutini Polytechnic is an essential part of our community, supporting local events, working alongside local businesses and getting behind local initiatives.”
Tai Poutini Polytechnic led the event along with support from the West Coast Pathways Committee, Grey District Council Mayors Task Force for Jobs, Development West Coast Upskill Project, West Coast Trades Academy, West REAP and the Ministry of Education.
West Coast to benefit from expanded tertiary education options
Tai Poutini Polytechnic's CE Alex Cabrera and Open Polytechnic's CE Dr Caroline Seelig, meet with TPP Board members Renee Rooney, Rebecca Keoghan (Chair), Kara Edwards and Murray Strong (Director)
West Coast learners can now access a greater range of more flexible online training options, while still enjoying all the benefits of campus facilities and support services.
A new partnership between Tai Poutini Polytechnic and national online learning provider The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand is creating more tertiary training options and removing barriers to education on the West Coast.
Under the partnership, learners will be able to enrol in Open Polytechnic’s online courses while also being able to access study support services at Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Greymouth and Westport campuses, including access to health and study support, library and computer facilities, plus all the benefits of campus life and activity.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic chief executive Alex Cabrera said the partnership is a great example of the new national vocational training model, being developed under Te Pūkenga, being used to benefit West Coast learners.
“We have more opportunities for collaborations and partnerships than ever; we are working to breathe life into the intent of the reforms and create benefits for our region. This partnership is one of a number of new initiatives we’re working on this year that are designed to prototype what’s possible under the new vocational education system, bringing innovation and great outcomes for learners.”
Open Polytechnic chief executive Dr Caroline Seelig said her organisation was exploring new ways of working with regional polytechnic partners in support of the current reform of vocational education (RoVE).
“Combining distance learning with local campus services complements existing face-to-face and distance delivery and provides people on the Coast with another upskilling option.”
Dr Seelig said Open Polytechnic enrolled 256 West Coast learners last year and many of them may also value having access to extra campus-based services.
Open Polytechnic enrols 30,000 distance learners per year throughout New Zealand.
It offers 80 programmes ranging from certificates to diplomas and degrees, with subjects including accounting, marketing, early childhood education, social work, engineering technology, psychology, construction, horticulture, health & wellbeing and legal executives.
New supported learning programme to get underway
Students enrolled in Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s much-anticipated new programme to help supported learning students transition from school to work will get to work next month.
Right now, there are no post-high school training programmes available for supported learning students on the West Coast. TPP has been speaking with educators, whanau and social services for several months about bridging the gap.
TPP Leader – Engagement Mequa Hourston says it’s clear from the feedback received from across the community that access to tertiary training is an issue for supported learning students.
“We are starting with a pilot training programme that will offer foundation skills and basic training with a hospitality focus for supported learning students. We realise that the demand will be high for the programme and we’ll be taking a staged approach to rolling out more training options in the future.
“We’ve held information evening and sought input from across the community, educators, families and support services to get an idea of the need when building the programme.
“We want to make sure the training offered reflects the real need on the West Coast and the diversity of our people. That’s why we’ll be taking a staged approached to the roll-out of programmes and seeking feedback throughout the process.”
The Training Scheme in Hospitality Supported Learning (Level 1) begins on 26 July. Find out more at https://tpp.ac.nz/study-options/supported-learning/
Stories and cakes at Dixon House
Residents at Greymouth’s Dixon House enjoyed cakes, slices and some great stories on Tuesday 25 May thanks to students of Tai Poutini Polytechnic and Paroa School.
Each year, the Polytechnic’s cookery students make it part of their training to “pay it forward” and provide some tasty baked treats to a good cause. In 2020, they took trays of cakes and biscuits to local supermarket workers as a thank-you for all their hard work and commitment during the Covid-19 lockdown.
This year the Polytechnic has teamed-up with senior students from Paroa School to put on a really special treat for Dixon House residents during our ‘National Share a Story Month’.
“The school students will be reading stories to the residents, while they all enjoy a yummy afternoon tea, and residents will be able to share some of their own memories and favourite stories,” says Polytechnic Leader – Engagement Mequa Hourston.
“We always enjoy getting out in the community and supporting local events, activities and new initiatives; this cookery-led initiative reflects the Polytechnic’s wider aim to meet the needs of the region and do things that benefit the West Coast.
“It’s been a really lovely afternoon, with students and residents sharing stories and having a good laugh – not to mention enjoying some tasty treats all thanks to our wonderful cookery students!”
Outdoor Education students get a taste of the wild
Twenty-six Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Guiding students have been working with the Paparoa Wildlife Trust to look after our local environment.
The team spent two days in the bush at the end of May, learning about ecology and contributing to New Zealand’s goal to be predator free by 2050.
Students and trust representatives learned about local ecology and placed 70 new predator traps around the Paparoa Great Walk track. A great job by everyone involved!
Te Pūkenga visits the West Coast
Tai Poutini Polytechnic welcomed Te Pūkenga to campus in June as part of the organisation’s mid-year in-person korero.
Te Pūkenga Executive Leadership Team were all involved during the sessions in June. The team was at our Greymouth campus during June to speak with staff and learners.
Stephen Town, Te Pūkenga Chief Executive, explains, “The team is pleased to provide an update on mahi which has been ongoing across the organisation, and in partnership with the network, during the last six months.”
“We know that many people are keen to understand what happens next. We are able to provide details on what we expect the next 8 - 10 months looks like and our key milestones and deliverables.
“A key focus is to provide an update on the development of the operating model, our work on the future of academic regulations, relationships with employers, understanding we’ve gained around learner perspectives and much more. There will be opportunities for staff and learners to contribute their views as we connect in person.”
Students get cooking for Pink Ribbon month
Tai Poutini Polytechnic students rolled out decadent three-course brunch in May to raise funds for Pink Ribbon month.
Community members were quick to book tables at Polytechnic’s Tutoro Restaurant in Greymouth to sample the special menu. Guests enjoyed eggs benedict options, scones and house made preserve and sweet health balls prepared by cookery students and served by food and beverage students.
All proceeds will be donated to Breast Cancer pink ribbon month fundraisers through the West Coast Cancer Society.
Cookery tutors Bradley Stanger and Evelyne Baumgartner, along with Food and Beverage Tutor Dean Thomas say it was a wonderful opportunity for students to support a good cause while honing their culinary skills.
“Our students were involved from the outset in the event, planning and preparing the menu, developing the dishes and getting ready to welcome the public.
“These sorts of events are fantastic learning opportunities where students are challenged to deliver to paying customers. We love to watch them thrive in this environment, putting all their efforts into delivering an amazing experience for our guests. It’s also a great way to get students involved in their community and get them thinking about charity and supporting a good cause.”
Careers events showcase West Coast
Careers and employment events around the country are a great way to share what Tai Poutini Polytechnic and the West Coast has to offer potential students.
Jade Mahuika - Secondary Tertiary Education Liaison has been making her way around the South Island during May, attending events in Nelson and Christchurch to showcase the unique programmes available here at home.
Jade spent three days at the Christchurch Careers Expo, then headed further north for a three-day roadshow at five different venues as part of the Nelson/Tasman Careers Expo.
She met dozens of people, mostly high school students, to talk about their future and discuss training options.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to share some of the great training opportunities we offer here at the Polytechnic with people from outside the region. I love spending time talking to future students or answering questions about what a fantastic place the West Coast is to live and learn.”
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