Engineering fun days taking off

22 March 2017

Engineering fun days taking off

Tying in with New Zealand’s upcoming rocket launch through Rocket Lab, year 12 students from eight Northland secondary schools got a taste of engineering through launching DIY water rockets.

A total of 29 students attended a special day at NorthTec, to hear about the opportunities of studying and working in civil and electrical engineering. They also enjoyed a talk by Troy Smith, a recent NorthTec Diploma in Engineering graduate and Far North District Council cadet.

Broadwood Area School, Dargaville High School, Huanui College, Kamo High School, Pompallier Catholic College, Tauraroa Area School, Whangarei Girls’ and Whangarei Boys’ High School were all represented at the event, the second in a series of Info/Fun Days to encourage school students into the engineering profession.

NorthTec is one of six tertiary education providers nationwide to have won funding from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to be part of the Engineering Education 2 Employment (EE2E) Secondary-Tertiary Project, designed to address the shortage of engineering graduates in New Zealand, particularly in the two-year Diploma in Engineering (NZDE).

Project leader, Mirko Wojnowski, said: “We have an amazing opportunity to address this huge shortage locally, with Northland students studying the NZDE right here in Whangarei and then being placed in cadetships and jobs in Northland as well. After that, the world is their oyster as the NZDE is recognised worldwide and amazing job opportunities beckon both in NZ and abroad.”

Among other initiatives, the project will carry on this year with several info days in Whangarei and also the mid-North, as well as an event focused on girls in engineering. The speakers are local role models and ‘career ambassadors’ from FutureInTech, an IPENZ (Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand) initiative.

According to figures released by IPENZ, engineering salaries increased 6.3% in the last year, compared to national average wage inflation of just 1.5%. The median salary on Trade Me is currently $85,000 for civil engineers.


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