UCOL students make the most of free trades training

Asia's Tech News Daily

UCOL students make the most of free trades training

Close to 1000 UCOL students have made the most of the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) since its inception, with learners and employers reaping the benefits.

The fund was set up by the Government as part of Budget 2020 in response to the economic impact of Covid-19.

Also known as “free trades training”, the fund pays for fees and costs for many vocational education and training programmes.

Across UCOL’s campuses, 34 programmes are now covered by free trades training, including qualifications in health and wellbeing, information technology, conservation, enrolled nursing, community support, and agriculture.

“Learners from all walks of life are showing great interest in industries that have not been in demand the same way before,” Danny Reilly, UCOL’s executive dean of engineering and applied technologies, said.

Out of the 980, 55 per cent of these learners are under the age of 25, and 31 per cent are Māori or Pasifika.

“It’s heartening to see so many young people and women picking up trades,” Reilly said.

Enrolments for the New Zealand Certificate in Information Technology Essentials (Level 4) – which is taught online – went up, Dean Rankin, executive dean of humanities and business, said.

“Most learners looking to upskill find this suits their schedules, as they study while working.”

TTAF is only guaranteed until the end of 2022, so Reilly is encouraging learners to make the most of the opportunity.

“We’d definitely encourage the Government to keep this funding going but as it currently stands, it’s only going to be covering fees up to December 31, 2022. So it’s a bit of a get in before it’s gone kind of situation.”

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