The Timaru Herald reports that Aoraki Polytechnic is not going to introduce one of its proposed compressed trades courses.
The polytechnic had initially proposed a compressed building course as a way of providing more tradespeople for the rebuild of Christchurch. The proposal would have halved Aoraki’s 34-week carpentry, general engineering, and brick, block and paving programmes so they would take six months instead of a year to become qualified.
Aoraki has now withdrawn its application to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) for approval for the course because the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation did not support compressed carpentry training.
However, Chief Executive Kay Nelson says that a compressed course in general engineering will proceed because it had the full support of Competenz (New Zealand Engineering, Food and Manufacturing Industry Training Organisation) and NZQA had approved it.
“Pending student numbers, the polytechnic was on track to run a compressed course in general engineering,” she told the Herald.
TEU organiser Kris Smith, told the paper that she was surprised that the compressed course in general engineering had received support.
“There is definitely a need for skilled tradespeople in Christchurch, but I am not sure whether this course would be the right mechanism to deliver the right outcomes,” she said. “I would be interested to know their rationale for approving one course, but not the other.”
“We are concerned there will not be enough industry placements available, and wonder whether they will be able to find enough adequately qualified staff to run the course,” she said.
Earlier, TEU members had expressed concern that there are limited local spaces available for work experience, and had questioned who will teach the compressed trades programmes given these are specialist programmes and the present tutors already have full classes and full workloads.