Todd Rogers could hardly have chosen a more significant time to join EIT as Head of School, Applied Technology and Trades.
“I’ve come in at the beginning of change,” he says.
Based in the recently-opened Trades and Technology Training Complex, Todd oversees EIT’s refocused direction in trades training and heads a team that includes other new staff.
After leaving Central Hawke’s Bay College, Todd signed up for a carpentry apprenticeship in the New Zealand Army. During his 15-year service, he was the army’s construction manager with responsibility for as many as 52 apprentices in training.
Building skills dovetail well, he points out, with the army’s role in disaster relief. He had two stints in the Solomon Islands and postings in East Timor and Iraq, and maintains his links with the services as a territorial.
Being back in Hawke’s Bay is great, says Todd, who sees his new job as “a huge learning curve”. EIT’s carpentry programmes spearheaded the move to a more integrated project approach to teaching different trades, and this highly successful teaching method has been extended to the institute’s other trades and technology programmes.
That, he says, plus the state-of-the-art complex, with its flexible open-plan layout of workshop areas, are helping create strong interest in trades training and technology.
“There are 70-80 automotive engineering students here every week, and that’s just one of six trades training areas.”
One of Todd’s roles at EIT is driving the Government’s Modern Apprenticeships initiative, which is aimed at increasing the number of young people in apprenticeships.
EIT is the regional Modern Apprenticeship Coordinator for automotive, electrical, mechanical engineering, welding and plumbing. (An apprenticeship in building and construction can be pursued through the National Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4).)
The pluses to becoming a Modern Apprentice, Todd says, include earning while you learn, avoiding a student loan, gaining a national recognised qualification, learning from industry experts and personalised training plans.