An entry level skills course is being launched by EIT Hawke’s Bay to provide a leg-up to those wanting to study for a trade.
Tutor Andy Sinclair says EIT presently has to turn away would-be students lacking the basic skills to meet entry criteria for certificate programmes in automotive, carpentry, electrical, mechanical engineering and welding and collision repair.
The 17-week full-time Certificate in Trades Skills had been designed to equip students with the skills necessary for entry into any of EIT’s five core trade certificate programmes.
Mr Sinclair said the course encompassed foundation learning and life skills and was designed for further study rather than for those wanting to immediately join the work force.
“Almost all the learning will be task-based and will be done in EIT’s well equipped workshops. All the projects will have a purpose. For example, we will be making picnic tables for the campus. The outdoor furniture will be identified with the names of those who make them, encouraging the students to make a good job.”
Students would learn practical skills, dealing with suppliers themselves, ordering materials and budgeting for projects.
Starting on August 3, the course was attracting strong interest, particularly from recent school leavers. Of 11 applicants, seven had already been accepted for the first intake of 16 students.
Despite the recession, Mr Sinclair said the automotive, engineering and collision repair industries offered “plenty of opportunities, and there were definitely jobs in welding” – both in Hawke’s Bay and nationwide.