An EIT programme for people wanting to join the police, fire service or armed services is fully subscribed, with a waiting list for the next intake in July.
The 19-week, full-time Services Pathway certificate programme is led by former Gisborne District Police Commander, Superintendent Waata Shepherd, who has a strong interest in youth leadership.
The programme covers a full range of pre-entry skills training, including literacy, numeracy, computing, communication and physical fitness. It also covers work-life skills such as presentation, dealing with stress and leadership.
Following the level 3 certificate programme, Mr Shepherd is able to use his professional networks to help arrange work experience for students seeking to apply for a service career.
There are a maximum of 16 positions in each programme. There were 32 applications for the current programme, which started on February 11 and ends on June 19.
The second programme this year runs from July to November , which most of the remaining applicants are taking up.
Most of the students are school leavers and almost half are women.
Of the 16 students, 12 are interested in a police career, two in the army, one in the navy and one undecided between the police and the army.
Of the 14 students who completed the programme last semester, most are now going through the recruitment process, which in the police force, can take three months or more.
One is now in the army, another has had his final acceptance for police training and one is nearly in the Fire Service.
Waata Shepherd takes a personal interest into tracing each student’s progress following their graduation, mentoring and supporting them to help them through what can be an extended recruitment process.
After 38 years in the police service, he views it as a way of giving something back to what was for him a fantastic career.