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“I love seeing the students change themselves during the course. Most of our students didn’t have a good experience of learning at school and the way we teach adults here can help turn that around. It’s very satisfying to see the results. The change in individuals ripples out to change the community.”
Stephen teaches carpentry at the Kaitaia NorthTec campus. “The training here is very practical. The most fulfilling part for the students is that they get to build a house. It’s something tangible that they can take pride in and show their families for years to come.”
Stephen points out that life skills are an important component of the carpentry course. “We don’t just measure our outcomes in terms of trade placements. This is a technical course but it has a social spin-off. Some of these guys are learning to turn up every day and to become work ready. To see the personal satisfaction they achieve when they can improve their lives is really fulfilling.”
The course mix is 60% theory and 40% practical. “The students do two years worth of unit standards in a year, so if they go on to an apprenticeship, employers get two years that their employees don’t need to go away.”
“Of last year’s students, three went on to apprenticeships, five went on to further tertiary education and one young couple renovated and sold their house.”