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Pasifika Trades Scholarships Launched
A very successful event was held at the Opera House Wellington on Sunday 12 February to launch the government’s Pasifika Trades Scholarships. The initiative, backed by Pacific Church Ministers, means that 80 students in the Wellington region will have their tuition fees paid to study at either the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) or Whitireia Community Polytechnic. The scholarship recipients received a blessing at the service which was attended by more than 320 supporters. Linda Sissons and Don Campbell attended and spoke in support of the initiative which seeks to encourage more Pacifica students into a trades career.
43 Pacifica students will be studying at WelTec. The students start on 27 February studying carpentry, painting and decorating, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and brick and blocklaying.
The Pacific Trades Training initiative will provide up to 300 fees-free additional places in trades training over the next two years to support Christchurch’s earthquake recovery, stimulate demand for trades-related training in the Pacific community, and contribute to New Zealand’s overall economic development The initiative is about reaching Pacific students who would not normally enter a trades career and increasing their likelihood of success within those trades.
Although this is a one-off initiative, it will help boost the profile of trades careers within the Pacific community as a viable alternative to other higher education options.
A key principle of the Pacific Trades initiative is the role of Pacific church ministers, who will raise the profile of the trades as a viable career option, and identify and nominate potential trainees in partnership with the tertiary education organisations (TEOs). The provision of ongoing support, mentoring and pastoral care by the ministers, in conjunction with TEOs will also be a key part of this initiative.
This project complements existing initiatives in the trades area, such as Trades Academies, which support increased trades training opportunities.