Unitec and West Auckland schools promote engineering skills

Posted on 2016-10-14 by CM

Thursday, 15 September 2016, 2:43 pm
Press Release: UNITEC


Unitec Institute of Technology and six west Auckland secondary schools are working together to entice students into engineering, upskill teachers and plug gaps in New Zealand’s workforce.

The Engineering Education 2 Employment project, funded by Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), involves Unitec, Kelston Girls’ College, Massey High School, St Dominic’s College, Kelston Boys’ High School, Green Bay High School and Waitakere College in conjunction with a number of engineering firms.

Over the academic year, up to eight students from each school will spend four days at school and one day at Unitec where they will attend engineering lectures, workshops and labs. Their courses will be created and delivered by the secondary school teachers and Unitec staff. With TEC funding, the programme will be offered at no cost to participating schools, including relief teaching costs, and students will attend Unitec for free.

Nick Hackett, Assistant Principal of Massey High School, says the initiative is exciting for students. “They will be experiencing the inspiring tertiary environment of Unitec while continuing their school education. We hope that this exposure and insight will highlight engineering as a possible profession, and keep students engaged in learning to enhance their career prospects.”

David Nummy, Unitec’s Acting Head of Engineering, says the end goal is to increase students’ access to employment. “The most exciting part of this programme is, with industry partners on board, it gives students a direct pathway from Year nine into real jobs with great employers.”

The programme’s initial phase will engage secondary school students in engineering projects as motivation to continue with mathematics and physics after Level 2 and Level 3 NCEA. Students will then gain entry into the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering and/or the Bachelor of Engineering Technology and work towards qualifications which match known industry shortages.

The programme will link maths and physics teachers with the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand, the National Association of Women in Construction and other industry bodies to engineering companies to give teachers greater experience and professional development with the engineering sector.

Kylie Taffard, Assistant Principal of Kelston Girls’, says the schools and Unitec have worked hard to create a sustainable and stimulating programme for students which meets the needs of industry and education.