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Maritime training and employment - creating positive futures for Northland’s young people

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust has teamed up with Queenstown Resort College Tai Tokerau (QRC) and Skipper Training NZ to deliver a Maritime and Tourism Operations training programme based in Paihia. The collaborative initiative has been developed by the not-for-profit Trust to create a formal training pathway to employment for qualified deckhand positions on commercial vessels operating in the Bay of Islands.

R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust Chief Executive Jo Lynch says, "We developed this training following discussions with the key maritime tourism operators in the Bay of Islands. Graduates from our 7-day youth development programme often show an interest in a maritime career, so we designed a course to enable our young people to gain the skills and qualifications suitable for the local maritime industry jobs on offer. We are delighted to partner with two incredible organisations to deliver this course locally."

The programme will deliver the QRC Tourism Operations programme and training towards Maritime NZ Qualified Deckhand Crew certification. This combination makes up the Maritime Tourism Operations course. Students will focus on achieving two certificate qualifications shaped to suit the current local job market.

Tourism Operations provides an introduction to the dynamic tourism industry. The programme focuses on the concepts of Manaakitanga (the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others) and Whanaungatanga (a relationship through shared experiences and working together that provides people with a sense of belonging), and how these are applied in a professional tourism and hospitality context. Graduates will understand the importance of customer service and interpretation in delivering a unique visitor experience.

The Maritime Operations part of the course will be delivered by Skipper Training NZ. They will deliver industry training to prepare candidates to sit the Maritime NZ Qualified Deck Crew certification. Students will spend time on boats in the bay completing their Qualified Deck Crew Training Record Book in preparation for the Maritime NZ oral exam.

The course will be delivered over 16 weeks from July to November. Students will have the opportunity to apply for jobs on the water for the 2022 summer. Students can access accommodation, meals and pastoral care, Fees Free study, student financial support through QRC, and thus obtain subsidised education and a clear pathway to work. The R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust has sourced funding through the Mayors Task Force for Jobs and support from the MSD Community Recovery Programme to deliver the QDC programme. Lynch says, "Our kaupapa is Learning for Life Through the Sea; this initiative stands to extend the benefits of our core youth development programme to offer long-term opportunities for our rangatahi, whanau and communities."

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