Wed 20 May 2015

Feats on the move

Feats' New Plymouth operation is now based at WITT's Bell St campus.

The well known Taranaki training provider moved its New Plymouth operation to Witt on Friday, May 15 and was open for business on Monday, May 18. .

Since 1992 Feats has provided that all-important training for hundreds of second chance Taranaki learners, allowing them to gain the necessary qualifications to further their careers.

Feats' owner Cheree Menzies says they had no choice but to vacate their Centennial Drive premises. "We've been based here in Portview since 2007, and the Port company has been very considerate in allowing us to stay as long as we have.

"That enabled us to have the time to establish a relationship with WITT and now we are going to relocate there.''

Cheree said it was an exciting time for everyone.  "WITT is keen to establish an education hub at their Bell St campus and the collaboration between us is part of that.''

WITT Executive Director Nicola Conley, welcomed Feats moving on to campus.

 "They offer foundation programmes and we're hoping a number of their students will complete those with Feats and then enrol and study at WITT,'' she said.

"It's a move in the right direction for both of us.''

Cheree emphasised Feats would remain independent, despite the shift.

"Our 40 learners will remain Feats learners, but will have WITT IDs so they can access the range of services and facilities that WITT has to offer.

"That increases the pastoral support we give our young ones. Access to a crèche for our solo parents programme participants, is just one example.''  But it goes further than that, she says.

"There are the library services, the counsellors, the careers advisor; the literacy and numeracy experts, there's a whole range of services that Witt provides.''

Feats provides several training  programmes for second chance learners of all ages, but is particularly strong in Youth Guarantee training, catering for 16-19 year-old school leavers who may not have completed their NCEA qualifications, and are keen to get to the stage where they can get a trade qualification, for example Automotive."

"A lot of our learners transition into higher level training at WITT  and this will give further strength to that pathway and give our people more confidence to progress on to further programmes.''

Feats offers introductory programmes in hospitality and retail; healthcare and automotive, as well as delivering several other programmes on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development and Tertiary Education Commission.

Cheree said the WITT staff had been very accommodating. "Everyone's been great to work with there's a really good feeling here at the moment, very welcoming."

"We are based in C Block, so we'll be quite visible. That can be accessed from Hobson St and then Hendrie St.

"The view won't quite match the panoramic sea views at the Port, but there is a glimpse of the sea and the more central location will make up for that.

Cheree and the Feats staff of seven moved more than 20 years of files and equipment during the weekend.

Feats programmes being run in Stratford and Hawera will not be affected.

Feats are looking forward to building on their collaboration with Witt, working together to provide dynamic learning opportunities that reflect the community and industry's needs.