Cuts in funding for Waikato Institute of Technology’s (Wintec) planned level 1 and 2 courses has led to a proposal being made to close Otorohanga Trade Training Centre, an initiative of the former Mayor, Dale Williams, to reduce youth unemployment.
Funding from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) was cut by $1.83 million more than Wintec had been anticipating. As a result, there is now a proposal to discontinue the Certificate in Engineering Automotive Trades and to close the local Trade Training Centre.
An initiative of former Mayor, Dale Williams’ Taskforce for Jobs, the Trade Training Centre was established in partnership with Wintec to reduce youth unemployment in the area.
Courses are designed and supported by industry locally to train school leavers in skills that the area’s employers need.
Megan Morris, TEU Organiser at Wintec, said efforts must be made to avoid losing the benefits of aligning publically owned training opportunities with the local skill needs of the area.
“The centre’s closure would be a blow to Otorohanga. It is vital the government continue to invest in public tertiary education programmes that are able to respond to unique local need,” she said.
A consultation on the training centre’s proposed closure is open until the end of January.