WITT, NPDC build a solid future for next generation with Infrastructure Training Park

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The vision to create a real-world infrastructure training facility in Taranaki has come to life. In November last year the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) agreed to provide up to $1 million in funding for WITT-Te Pūkenga to create an infrastructure training park, which was officially opened by New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom in Bell Block on 31 August. 

The training park aims to help address the skills and capability gap within the civil construction sector by providing a simulated worksite for students to hone their civil infrastructure work skills. 

WITT-Te Pūkenga will deliver a range of programmes at the park from Infrastructure Works through to Solar training micro-credential. The programmes focus on providing the training and upskilling needed for the civil construction workforce. 

Kyle Hall, Director of School, Engineering, Energy and Infrastructure (NZIHT) said having the park locally allows companies to have direct exposure to the students and work with them while they study, as well as providing modern training facilities to upskill their own workforces.  

“We have already had one intake of students complete the Infrastructure Works programme at the park who have all successfully graduated and gained employment in the industry,” he said.

Mr Hall said he is looking forward to seeing the outputs and the benefits of the park not only for the Taranaki region but also for the whole country.

NPDC Group Manager Planning and Infrastructure Kevin Strongman said the training park would contribute to building a Sustainable Lifestyle Capital by giving young people in Taranaki the skills and experience they need to continue living, working and raising their own children in the region.

“We need to establish appropriate training and apprenticeship opportunities for young people wanting to get into infrastructure and civil construction in Taranaki, just as we do for trades like joinery and plumbing in the house building sector.  The Infrastructure Training Park lays the foundation for future generations,” said Mr Strongman.

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