New training considered for supported learning students 

Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP) is seeking feedback from the community on plans to offer a new training programme that helps students in supported learning transition to work in the region.

TPP has worked with the West Coast District Health Board to identify a gap in the provision of education opportunities that help students in supported learning move on to higher education or work. TPP is looking to launch a new training programme later this year which will help these students to achieve their goals.

An open night is being held next week to discuss the concept with local health and social agencies, potential students and their whanau and other interested community members.

TPP Leader – Engagement Mequa Hourston says the institute now has the ability to offer a wide range of training programmes here on the West Coast.

“When we became a subsidiary of the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology in April, we gained better access to a wide range of programmes being delivered at other subsidiary institutes around the country. With their support we can now offer these programmes here on the West Coast.

“West Coast District Health Board member Sarah Birchfield, who is also on the CDHB/WCDHB Disability Action Plan Committee, and a mother of a child who has a disability, identified a gap in education for students in supported learning and we discussed how TPP could step in offer the training and education support needed to fill the gap. The result is a potential new programme that will initially focus on preparing students for entry-level positions in the hospitality industry.

“The aim is to launch the programme later in the year, but first we want to talk to the community about the plan and hear from students and their whanau about exactly what they need to make this work for them. We’re excited to be able to support the local community through this initiative and we want to hear from anyone looking for new or different training that we can get behind,” she says.

WCDHB member Sarah Birchfield says “There is a service gap and a need within the West Coast community for people living with a disability, especially transitioning out of high school. Level1 Supported Learning is a great opportunity for anyone living with a disability to gain skills, confidence and a sense of self-worth.

“It is great that TPP is wanting to be more inclusive and diverse. The public open night just reflects ‘Nothing about us, without us’, “she says.

Supported Learning Open Night Details:
Monday, June 22, 2020 at 6 PM – 8 PM
Greymouth Campus (or via zoom: 407-874-1159)

For more information contact:

Mequa Hourston, Leader – Engagement
DDI: 03 7699 405 | Mobile: 027 237 5844 | email: