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Students celebrate trades academy success

By UCOL on Wednesday, 11 November 2015

U-Skills students

​Over 250 high school students from across the central North Island have celebrated gaining NCEA credits by attending UCOL one day a week this year.

Through the U-Skills Central Schools Academy, 250 Year 11, 12 and 13 students studied across a range of programme areas at UCOL sites in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wairarapa and Levin in 2015. Students received awards of recognition at ceremonies held in the four locations last month.

U-Skills Central Schools Academy is a Trades Academy run through UCOL.

UCOL Transition Manager Jaime Court says U-Skills programmes are designed to support students' school work and help them achieve NCEA through tertiary learning one day a week.

"U-Skills began in 2012 with 80 students, and we have grown every year since then. The academy offers students a range of opportunities including credits towards NCEA and industry exposure as well as building their confidence and soft skills."

In Palmerston North, Whanganui and Wairarapa this year students studied at UCOL campuses across a wide range of programme areas in categories such as manufacturing and technology, construction and infrastructure, services, social and community, primary and creative.

In Levin, students studied either Construction based at Speldhurst Country Estate, the old Kimberley Hospital site being redeveloped by Levin builder Wayne Bishop; or Hair and Beauty with Paula Wyatt.

Ms Court says U-Skills programmes are designed to guide students through a vocational pathway with the support of school. "Students are able to experience industry and tertiary training at the same time as completing NCEA. The academy offers students the option to develop tertiary study skills within the comfort of their secondary school."

U-Skills is open to students from the Manawatu, Whanganui, Wairarapa, Rangitikei, Ruapehu, Horowhenua and Tararua areas. There are no programme fees.

Applications for 2016 U-Skills programmes are open now.