The London Transport Museum - Nowhas two new permanent displays part of a year-long, Department for Transport led initiative to get more young people to study engineering writes Aimée McLaughlin for Design Week. Well worth a visit if you happen to be taking the "undecided, do I want to get into engineering or not" off-spring to the UK on the last family holiday before they flee the nest.
Dec 21, 2017 - Construction is one of New Zealand’s biggest industries and predicted to grow for some time to come. Large and increasingly sophisticated building projects need well trained and qualified staff to run smoothly and efficiently - or risk costly mistakes. Ara Institute of Canterbury has responded to this increasing complexity in the construction sector by launching new qualifications that prepare graduates with the critical thinking skills and initiative to lead the way as construction managers and quantity surveyors.
Programme Leader at Ara Keith Power has many years of experience in quantity surveying and in teaching. “The construction industry told us this is what they need,” he said. “Construction is changing very rapidly with new technology and systems. Construction companies are increasing their productivity on increasingly complex jobs. Staff need to be better equipped for the future.”
“Most of the construction company employers, and a lot of their staff, have passed through Ara or its predecessor CPIT. We are trusted to train quantity surveyors and construction managers for the realities of the construction industry. Running a building site, or managing the cost of a project, means dealing with the materials, staff, sub-contractors and technology – it is increasingly innovative, and there are new ways of setting projects up from the very start. Our qualifications take graduates a step further to really future proof their work with courses such as advanced contracting and law, cost planning and BIM (Building Information Modelling), property development, plus elective choices that allow students to choose the specialised areas they would like to explore.”
The new qualifications are flexible to allow for part time study while working by using a blended delivery approach with online learning and two-day block courses. Full time study is also available using work-integrated industry placements to provide students with experience in an industry setting.
Ara will continue to offer the New Zealand Diploma in Construction and Power expects many diploma graduates to upgrade to the degree. Those qualified in other areas, such as civil engineering, can enrol in the graduate diploma to move into specialising in CM or QS.
It worth investing in upskilling, he says. “There are excellent employment prospects in QS and CM. The construction industry has moved on from the boom and bust, cyclical nature of the past, to steadier workflows forecast for the future.”
For more information go to www.ara.ac.nz or phone 0800 24 24 76.
Dec 20, 2017 - Providing the opportunity to sharpen business administration skills through on-job and online learning, Skills Active now offers an exciting programme for the Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Business (Administration and Technology).
The qualification Skills Active delivers is specifically designed to suit people who work in a wide range of office administration and business roles within the sport, recreation and performing arts industries.
Officially launched on December 8, this is the first of Skill's Active's new business suite of qualifications.
Chief executive, Grant Davidson, is proud that the organisation is able to offer this nationally-recognised business qualification, which will provide value across all of Skills Active's industries.
"In all of our industries, the customer is key. Therefore, it is a natural fit for us to offer a qualification that develops an individual's customer service, technology and business administration skills," Dr Davidson says.
"Skilled staff with strengths in these areas will allow a workplace to run more smoothly, which in turn will provide a better experience for the customer."
The qualification is designed to be undertaken on-the-job, and assessed online. Staff learn while they earn, receiving on-job support and mentoring from managers, supervisors and colleagues to complete their qualification. Through completing the qualification in the workplace, new skills and knowledge are applied directly to the work the staff member engages with in their role. This ensures the qualification is highly relevant and useful to both staff and the workplace.
The qualification is a 60-credit package and includes tasks around: planning for your success, producing business documents; data processing to produce business information; and providing administration support.
The qualification is estimated to take around eight months to complete for a person newly entering their role.
The qualification costs $650 + GST. This price includes all fees, assessment costs, access to Skills Active’s learning support staff, and all online tools and useful study materials in one space.
With a high volume of interest already, Dr Davidson encourages anyone who is working in business and office administration roles in the sport, recreation or performing arts industries to sign up to this qualification.
"Doing this qualification while on-the-job gives you the opportunity to learn crucial business administration skills that are directly relevant to your role. The knowledge and skills you gain will enhance your confidence and increase your productivity within the workplace.”
To find out more about this qualification, and learn how to sign up, click here.
| a Skills Active release || December 20, 2017 |||
Dec 15, 2017 - When six Wintec Māori and Pasifika engineering students volunteered for work experience at Longveld recently, they got to work on a very special project. Together they have made the framework for Hamilton’s Matariki Interactive Waka sculpture.
The work undertaken by the students on the waka ‘skeleton’ complemented their trade training as it required them to weld and assist with cutting steel while experiencing a real-world workplace.
Longveld directors Pam and Les Roa launched their business with little more than a toolbox, a welder and some great trade skills in the early 90s. They celebrate innovation and believe very strongly in culture and wellbeing. Their adoption of mātauranga Māori principles added a welcoming, cultural dimension to the students’ experience.
“We’re no strangers to interesting projects, in fact at Longveld we relish the challenge. To work with students who are embarking on a career in engineering, and at the same time help to create something that is so culturally significant for our community, is really inspiring for our team,” says Pam.
The students have been mentored by Longveld engineer Jemoal Lassey who says he has a new respect for teaching and learning.
“Upskilling these students, who I hope will become part of a new generation of engineers, was a reminder of how important it is to get the basics right, learn by doing and to ask questions along the way and challenge better ways of doing things,” says Jemoal.
Wintec tutor and PhD candidate Joe Citizen is behind the multidisciplinary Matariki Interactive Waka project which to date has involved Wintec students studying trades, engineering, early childhood education and media arts working with industry partners and Wintec’s Māori Achievement team.
“I can’t say enough how awesome it is that Longveld are involved and through this project they are mentoring our students. It was just wonderful to walk in there and see how they’re getting top-level mentorship in making a prototype that informs the cladding process,” says Joe.
“It’s real hands-on stuff. What’s particularly cool is the way I’m learning from the students, as they could tell me what the hard parts were and what they think needs to be done next.
“The next part will be working on the illuminated access hatches, which need to be integrated into the cladding design.”
Looking ahead, there are exciting plans for the Matariki Interactive Waka project as the sculpture nears completion in time for a June 2018 installation at Hamilton’s Ferrybank. Wintec media arts, business and IT students will work together to create an app with the sensor data from the waka project. Sustainable energy options have been researched by Wintec electrical engineering students and next year will see their implementation, using solar and wind solutions.
Background The multidisciplinary Matariki Interactive Waka project was developed by Wintec tutor and PhD candidate Joe Citizen. Joe envisaged this project as a public art installation that encompassed many of the disciplines and values related to his research.
The seven metre tall interactive sculpture is being built with a stainless-steel skeleton and clad in 3mm corten plate, and will utilise an interactive design that engages with the seven stars of Matariki through LED lighting and ambient soundtracks. The interactive sculpture will be activated by movement and its environmental sensor network will operate at dawn and dusk.
The sculpture will be situated at Hamilton’s Ferrybank, having gained unanimous consent from the Hamilton City Council at both its concept and siting stages. It is a collaborative, consultative, multidisciplinary partnership with Wintec’s researchers, Media Arts, IT and Māori Achievement teams, guided by Wintec kaumātua Tame Pokaia.
Current industry partnerships include Longveld, ACLX, and Taranaki-based MechEng. More than $100,000 of funding has been secured so far, with donations, grants, and in-kind support received from Perry Group, Trust Waikato, WEL Trust, Longveld and Wintec.
Follow the Matariki Interactive Waka Project on Facebook.
Homepage image: Artist's impression, the Matariki Interactive Waka sculpture at Ferrybank, Julian Smith.
Dec 15, 2017 - More young people in 2018 in Canterbury will have the chance to set up and run their own ventures, learning first-hand from local business mentors and developing critical skills for future employment and study. Ara Institute of Canterbury is the new regional partner for The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) and is enthusiastic about becoming more actively involved after previously hosting YES events.
“We are thrilled to work with Ara Institute of Canterbury to continue supporting local entrepreneurs. We know Ara will be able to offer value and support to the schools we work with to further impact youth entrepreneurship in the region,” Head of YES Dr Colin Kennedy said. The Lion Foundation YES is an experiential year-long programme where senior secondary students set up and run a business while still in school with real products and services, real profit and loss.
Ara will utilise its network of relationships with Canterbury schools and local businesses to support and grow the scheme. Some 500 students will be engaged in the scheme in 2018, participating in the journey of coming up with an innovative idea and developing it further into a successful business.
Head of the Department of Business at Ara, Michaela Blacklock, said that the two organisations share similar values and Ara was delighted to become a YES regional partner.
“Working with the students, teachers, mentors and sponsors involved in Young Enterprise in 2018, we can support and challenge our young people to develop their potential. They could go on to become Canterbury’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders – and that’s exciting,” she said. “The practical nature of YES aligns directly with the Ara focus on applied learning, where students learn by doing from day one. We apply this principle to all of our business programmes ensuring that our students get the best possible learning experience by applying theory as they learn it.” Blacklock says Canterbury is a leader in understanding the social, economic and environmental impacts of business activity.
“Christchurch hosted the Social Enterprise World Forum this year, and we have many successful social enterprises here to inspire YES participants. You only have to look at Anteater and My Green Dinner Table, both created by former Ara students, to see what is possible.” “Young people are playing a pivotal role in transforming and growing the local economy, and in creating a better world.”
CORE Education has provided the umbrella for YES in Canterbury in recent years with the number of students taking part regionally growing year on year. Ara looks forward to building on this from 2018 and is grateful for the work CORE have put into the programme to this point.
Dec 5, 2017 - The Government’s policy of a year’s free tertiary education for eligible students will benefit workers and business alike, says E tū. Of the 80,000 students forecast to take up the offer next year, 50,000 are expected to enrol in NZQA accredited industry training.
In the case of industry training, eligible students will enjoy two years fee free.
“There are currently about 11,000 construction apprentices but there’s a need for another 40,000 workers over the next five years,” says E tū’s Industry Coordinator, Engineering and Infrastructure, Ron Angel.
“We should have begun training five years ago, but the next best time to start is right now, so this will certainly provide a boost for the relevant Industry Training Organisations to promote apprenticeships,” he says.
“This is an opportunity for more firms to take that jump and say, ‘yeah, I’m taking on an apprentice’, and having a go at it.”
Ron says the policy will also sit well alongside the Government’s focus on forestry and regional development.
“There are huge opportunities in forestry and the primary sector where we can add value to workers and get highly trained, highly skilled people who know there’s a future and a career ahead of them,” he says.
Electrician and E tū Executive member, Ray Pilley says the trades have been neglected for too long and anything which promotes trades to young people is good.
“I’m an electrician and I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years. I’ve had a fantastic career. It’s well paid and you’ve got a job for life.
“The old saying is true – got a trade, got it made.”
Dec 5, 2017 - The Government has today made good on its 100-day promise of delivering the first year of fees-free post school training and education and industry training from 1 January next year, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. “This Government has taken the first major steps to break down financial barriers to post-school training and education. Next year, around 80,000 people will be eligible for fees free post-school training and education.
“It comes on top of our recent announcement of $50 increases in student allowance and student loans weekly living costs limits, which will make more than 130,000 students $50 a week better off.
“The policy is a major investment in New Zealanders and the New Zealand economy.
“It’s great news for young people who are finishing school and adults who have in the past been put off because of the cost, and it provides a genuine incentive to keep learning. This government is passionate about life-long learning.
“Employers have also been calling for bold forward thinking to build a future workforce with new skills to meet changing demands. That’s what this policy will deliver.
“We expect the policy to halt, and over time reverse the current trend of fewer people going into post-school training and education. We have budgeted for a 3% increase in equivalent full-time students in 2018, equating to about 2000 extra students.
“The Government has budgeted for up to $380 million in the current financial year across the fees-free policy and the $50 increases to student loans and allowances.
“Of the about 80,000 eligible students, estimates are that about 50,000 will train or study at a polytechnic, as industry trainees, at a wānanga or a PTE. The remainder will study at university.
Eligibility and implementation
Mr Hipkins said the policy details released today confirm the eligibility for fees-free in provider-based education and industry training.
“If you're a New Zealander who finished school in 2017, or if you will finish school during 2018, you qualify for a year of free provider based tertiary education or industry training in 2018. If you're not a recent school leaver, and you've done less than half a fulltime year of education or training, you also qualify,” Mr Hipkins said.
The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) will be responsible for implementing the fees-free policy, Mr Hipkins said.
“The TEC is working with Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) to ensure effective implementation of the fees-free policy, minimising any extra work TEOs may have to do. The TEC has set up a fees-free website to help prospective students and trainees confirm their eligibility for free fees. The TEC is being supported by other agencies, including the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Education and Inland Revenue.
“I appreciate that enrolled and prospective learners have had to wait some time before seeing the final details of the fees-free policy and I thank them for their patience; however, I’m sure learners will be happy with the result,” Mr Hipkins said.
More information for prospective students and trainees is at the fees-free website www.feesfree.govt.nz.
Further information for tertiary education providers and industry training organisations is available on the TEC’s website – www.tec.govt.nz.
Dec 1, 2017 - Phillip Goundar, New Zealand Diploma of Engineering (Civil) student, placed in the top three in an Engineering NZ competition, earning return flights to the November ‘Engineer your Career’ forum. The second year Ara Institute of Canterbury student from Fiji believes it was his creative vision, background and experience that impressed the judges.
In answering why he chose to study engineering Goundar drew upon his own life experiences. “I originate from a rural village in Fiji called Vatukarasa. Growing up we had a very basic house and no [clean] running water. I had to walk with a two-litre bottle to a family friend’s house as they had a borehole and clean water, so I would fill it up and walk back home. I made several trips every afternoon so we had clean water to drink.”
Experiences such as this make Goundar appreciate the value of engineering. “If I don’t do something correctly there are lives at stake, so that builds pride into what I’m doing. I can see how my work is going to serve the community. I can see the importance of my job, especially after going through all of the Christchurch earthquakes and aftershocks.”
Goundar was one of eight engineering students from Ara who beat out competition from tertiary institutes across the country to attend the Wellington forum. Engineering New Zealand, formerly IPENZ, originally offered fifty forum spots for tertiary students. However, due to the high calibre of entries they decided to offer seventy-two spots.
To earn entry to the forum students had to provide winning answers to two questions: what inspired you to study engineering and what does the future of engineering look like to you?
Twenty-one year old Goundar thinks that in the future the engineering industry will place higher value on safety and innovation. Within his own career, Goundar wants to explore the concept of “designing a material which is lighter than concrete but much superior in strength”.
“The highlight of the whole event for me was to hear that grades are important but it’s a fifty-fifty split between grades and experience. For me personally, I made use of all my opportunities at Ara, not just in class. Ara gave me the platform to speak up and share my ideas. The tutors welcome questions and conversation with the students, and they keep learning engaging. It’s clear that they want you to understand.”
From December, Goundar will start working for BECA as a Civil Engineering Technician. However, since attending the forum he is considering his career pathway and exploring the possibilities of further study. “I appreciated the networking opportunities at the forum to talk with new engineers in the field and hear about the difficulties they face. I also gained a better understanding of how I could move up in the ranks within the engineering industry.”
“My goal is to study the Ara Bachelor of Engineering Degree part-time, or a Bachelor of Engineering through University. Once I have achieved that and gained work experience I want to go on to do a taught Masters. I don’t know if I’ll want to work within the industry for my entire career. One day I’d like to be a lecturer.”
Nov 29, 2017 - When Casey Aranui went looking for work experience for her EIT trades training programme, she was knocked back by a dozen builders. The reasons she was given, she says, were about gender, but the determined 32-year-old wasn’t about to be deterred and her perseverance has paid off.
Graham Scarfe Builder Ltd offered Casey the opportunity she was looking for, and now, working full-time for the company, she is on track to securing a carpentry apprenticeship.
EIT tutor Tom Hay says Casey wasn’t the norm for a Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry) student, the norm being “a young fellow just out of high school”. However, she was one of four women on the programme – which has intakes in February and July – and Tom says the local building industry needs more female role models like her.
Living in Taradale, Casey and husband Reese have four children aged between two to seven. The Ngāti Kahungunu couple have a plan for getting ahead and it was with that in mind that they both enrolled at EIT.Reese recently completed the first year of the Level 6 Diploma in Architectural Technology and once he gains his qualification he wants to work at a job that will allow him to give back to his community.
Managing the demands of family life, Casey notched up a good attendance record at EIT. And while on work experience she tackled some hard physical jobs including jack-hammering out concrete. “She’s really determined,” Tom says and Graham Scarfe, whose family company employs 25 staff, agrees. “She’s going to be a top apprentice,” Graham enthuses. “She has got a hard road to achieve that and she’s going to do it.”
Like Casey, he’s picked up on outdated attitudes towards women working on construction sites and says there’s no need for it – from builders or from clients.
While Casey found that mind-set disheartening, she says she had no option other than to succeed. “We have four kids at home and a mortgage, bailing wasn’t an option.”
Like Reese, Casey likes to give back to the community. With Tom’s guidance and using offcuts from the trades programme, she and a friend recently built a rabbit hutch for the kōhanga reo on Waiohiki marae. Outside of work, she enjoys time with whānau and keeps active with boxing, cycling, Iron Māori and waka ama.
15 Nov 2017 - A study done by the University of Southern California and New Zealand’s Victoria University shows that additional trade schools could be a better way to close the income gap than universities. The research found that more investment is needed to go to vocational training because "there are too many four-year colleges serving too many students, and too few institutions with greater focus on vocational education and training," according to Joshua Aizenman, economics chair at University of Southern California.
Data shows that the amount of available vocational training relative to the size of a country's manufacturing sector may reduce income inequality and improve the fortunes of workers earning below the top 10 percent of household incomes, according to the report.
"Pushing more students to B.A. granting colleges may no longer be the most efficient way to deal with the challenges caused by the decline in manufacturing employment," said Aizenman.
Many believe fewer works would mean decreased output, but real gross domestic product manufacturing has risen over the past two decades, according to the report. This leads to the popular conclusion that machines have replaced labor in the workplace.