Taster programmes attract MSD clients to tertiary study

16 July 2021

Taster programmes attract MSD clients to tertiary study

Around 40 young people aged 15 to 19 enjoyed a two-day workshop on tertiary study, thanks to a partnership between NorthTec and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

The taster programme introduced the young people, who are currently NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) to NorthTec’s main Raumanga campus and its Future Trades centre in Dyer Street, Whangārei. After being welcomed with a pōwhiri at Te Puna o Te Mātauranga marae, the group took part in tours of both campuses.

The Raumanga campus tour took in the purpose-built hospitality suite with professional kitchens; the library and student common room; Toi Te Pito arts precinct and the whakairo (carving) room, and the Red Barn gym. The Future Trades centre tour included the construction and painting workshops; café and primary industries areas.

They were then given an overview of the taster session by Kim Ashby, Service Centre Manager at MSD He Poutama Taitamariki, and Shona Gavin, NorthTec’s Director Business Strategy and Performance, and given information about the study programme workshops to come on day two.

Kim Ashby introduced her intensive client support team and explained that the event was all about helping the young people to discover their goals, and then pursue those goals, adding: “Go with your goals, start chasing them, and you’ve got us following behind you.”

Shona Gavin said: “We are really invested in making a difference in peoples’ lives and we know that education is really important in that.” She gave examples of NorthTec graduates who as young people had had no expectations of success, but through education had gone on to achieve great things in their lives.

The first day ended with a survey session, to find out the interests of each young person, as well as any barriers making it difficult for them to access tertiary study.

On day two, the group took part in workshop sessions covering construction and painting, primary industries, hospitality, and sports and recreation. These gave them an opportunity to find out about study in these programme areas, at NZQA Levels 2 and 3.

The aim of the two-day taster programme was to give the group, who all chose to take part due to an interest in studying at tertiary level, an opportunity to find out about the options available to them. It also provided them with a chance to find out about the realities of tertiary study, and what support is available.

By the end of the event, more than half of the group indicated that they were interested in enrolling at NorthTec. A special enrolment session is now being planned.