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New managed apprenticeship model engineered at UCOL

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

UCOL has two new engineering programmes, with a difference.

The National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, and National Certificate in Fabrication will be introduced at UCOL in Palmerston North this year as a managed industry training apprenticeship option for budding engineers in the region.

Year 1 intakes for both of the Level 4 programmes are due to start this Semester, and Years 2-4 of each programme will be rolled out subsequently. Each programme has two strands: Mechanical Engineering: General Engineering, and Fitting and Machining; and Fabrication: Heavy, and Light.

Executive Dean Trades and Technology at UCOL Kelly Gay says the programmes are the result of several months’ worth of talking with regional employers.

"Industry designed their own qualification model suited to their needs, we listened and then built what they wanted."

It means there is another local option for employers taking on apprentices.

"It’s also about UCOL attaching its students to employment. The long term plan is that every UCOL Trades Certificate will have a link from school to employment, for example through our Trades Academy and other managed industry training apprenticeship programmes. There will always be a way into study, and simple ways of getting to the end of an apprenticeship."

The programmes will be made up of night classes, short block courses spread regularly across the year, and site visits. Apprentices will be assessed on site, meaning less paperwork for employers.

"There’s a really neat manufacturing industry in our region, some world class businesses; and they’re crying out for people with the right skills. We want to build a system that delivers those skills, is easier to understand, and makes vocational trades training easier for everyone."

The programme solutions were presented to over 50 industry representatives last night at UCOL.

Margaret Kouvelis, Mayor of Manawatu, says she is delighted with this outcome for the District’s engineer employers who sought a creative solution to their apprenticeship training. "Kelly Gay and his team have performed magic to get a tailor made outcome that will provide managed apprenticeships. UCOL is to be congratulated for this innovative solution that is so supportive of our employers and ensures ongoing employment for engineering apprentices. This demonstrates true partnership between our trades academy and employers in our region."

UCOL has already received interest in the programme from employers around the region.

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