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School qualifications achieved at tertiary institute set students up for success

Media Release: 23 January 2015

18 year old Denno Veratau is pursuing his life goal to become a qualified carpenter like his Granddad and puts his impressive academic success down to studying with the Wellington Trades Academy. Denno who lives in Khandallah Wellington was one of 82 students who successfully completed NCEA level 2 at the Wellington Trades Academy in 2014. He will be studying the National Certificate in Carpentry level 3 at WelTec’s new School of Construction in March this year.

Last year while enrolled at Onslow College Wellington and at the Trades Academy Denno achieved NCEA level 2 as well as two construction-related National Certificates: Building, Construction and Allied Trades; and Basic Residential Property Maintenance. “It was a good decision for me to enrol in the Wellington Trades Academy last year. You never know what you are capable of until you get to do it. The Trades Academy allowed me the opportunity to learn about carpentry before I decided it was the career I wanted to pursue.”

“It was a bit of a surprise to his Mum and me but it looks like he’s made a good choice for himself. The quality of the projects he brought home at the end of the year is so different from the ones earlier on. I’ve seen him develop his confidence and his whole attitude has changed,” says Dad Morea.

“Half the students with the Trades Academy had no NCEA qualifications at the start of the programme last year, but by the end 57% had achieved a level 2 qualification, 17% level 3 and 5% level 1. In addition these students achieved outstanding gains in numeracy and literacy. This shows that students are achieving well in a vocational tertiary education setting and are suited to the type of teaching environment a Trades Academy provides,” says Linda Sissons Chief Executive of WelTec and with overall responsibility for the Wellington Trades Academy.

“As an institution we have a strong record in teaching young people and getting them on track to academic success. Three quarters of the 2014 students will now be studying at a higher level as a result of spending a year at the Wellington Trades Academy. Further academic study was far from the minds of these young people prior to coming to the Trades Academy and it’s testament to this secondary-tertiary model that these students are achieving such positive outcomes,” says Linda Sissons.

New research by Dr Stuart Middleton from Manukau Institute of Technology (Younger Students in ITPs Undertaking Youth Guarantee Programmes) found that students enjoy the practical nature of learning, being treated like adults, and spending extended time, often the whole day, on hands-on activities.

In 2015 the Wellington Trades Academy has received a major increase in funding allowing 240 students to study in a tertiary environment either full-time or part-time whilst still enrolled at secondary school. Along with programmes in construction and engineering the options for study are varied and include Health Care, Introductory Animal Care, and Community Participation where students experience working in various areas such as emergency response which includes Civil Defence and the Fire Service.

The Wellington Trades Academy is offered at Petone (WelTec) and Porirua (Whitireia) and has a strong focus on Vocational Pathways which provides secondary school students with seamless teaching and learning between their home secondary school and the Academy. Part-time students study 3 days at their secondary school and 2 days at the Wellington Trades Academy. Click here  for more information.