Wed 7 Aug 2019

WITT builds connection with students

WITT opened its doors to a group of more than twenty Year 12 New Plymouth Boys’ High School (NPBHS) students last week, a first step toward collaborating more closely with schools to support young Māori learners. The visit was the outcome of a joint kaupapa between NPBHS and WITT to create a sense of whanaungatanga between Māori learners and the Institute.

An official welcome was followed by a campus tour and presentation, with the group of students enjoying kai as they took part in a Q&A session to end the visit. As well as providing an opportunity to familiarise the students with WITT’s campus, the visit also introduced them to the variety of trades and vocational programmes that are available to them while they are still at school through WITT’s Secondary to Tertiary Pathways (STP) programmes.

STP Manager Melissa Kay said the visit provided an opportunity for the students to explore the training options available to them while they are still at high school.

“This creates opportunity for the rangatahi to experience different industry-standard training opportunities and open their minds to the possibilities of study at WITT.”

“Being able to do this in a Kaupapa Māori context was a great way to show these young men that WITT is able to support their future pathways.”

Melissa says creating opportunities for our region’s young people to experience different vocational pathways is an important part of helping them to make informed decisions for their futures. 

“WITT Secondary to Tertiary Pathways programmes allow Taranaki secondary school students to participate in taster courses in the trades,” she said.

“They then have the option to study further at WITT campus for one to two days per week in a supported, industry-standard, trades training environment. They’ll also earn credits towards their NCEA, all while they are still at school.”

“These programmes are the perfect bridge between school, tertiary training and apprenticeships.”

WITT offers Secondary to Tertiary Pathways to high school students from Year 11 right through to Year 13, including STAR courses, Trades Academy and 3+2.

“The Government’s focus is very much on strengthening students’ pathways between school, vocational training and industry, and WITT’s proud to have built strong relationships with our partner schools to offer these pathways to almost 500 students each year.”

The student visit followed kōrero between WITT Kaiārahi Ken Taiapa and NPBHS Director of Māori Achievement Dale Atkins about building whanaungatanga between the two kura.

The NPBHS kaiako said it was a valuable visit that received positive feedback from his students.

“It was a great opportunity for our tauira today to take the first steps towards further education.”