Minister Nash's visit was an opportunity to discuss programmes relating to his portfolio including hospitality and trades training, as well as a chance to meet some of the ākonga (students) who are training to fill the shortages in those labour forces.
Minister Nash highlighted the demand for workers in the broader tourism and hospitality sector, particularly chefs and front of house staff. He also raised the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund, interested to hear about how the government initiative has encouraged Taranaki learners into trade-based education.
The tour around campus culminated with a sample of Taranaki's best coffee at Te Waka Kai food truck – WITT's mobile training initiative taking hospitality training around the region.
Minister Nash said he’s a big believer in education, quoting Malcolm X to say: "without education, you are not going anywhere in this world".
"It gives you options," he said.