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WelTec funding to enhance Local Business Links

WelTec wins funding to enhance Local Business Links

A plan to improve links between local industries and Wellington Institute of Technology is about to take the next step thanks to a successful bid for a portion of a $25.5 million government fund.

Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) has received a $300,000 grant from the Institute of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP) Business Links Fund to expand its activities with industry in the Greater Wellington Region.

Administered by the Tertiary Education Commission, the fund has been put in place to promote productive working relationships between educators and enterprise.

WelTec is one of 19 Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology around the country to be granted money from the fund, announced as part of last year’s Budget.

WelTec CEO Dr Linda Sissons says that while WelTec has always had strong relationships with industry the fund will assist the Wellington region polytechnic to do even more.

“In 2002 WelTec introduced an ‘Adopt an Employer’ strategy to encourage tutors to be more closely aligned with their industries and ensure that qualifications and teaching stayed current and relevant,” says Dr Sissons. “The scheme has been effective in a limited way but with this grant we can focus and target it even more strategically.

“We have identified that new and emerging businesses have high skill development needs. Extending the Adopt an Employer strategy will help solve these. We know we’ve got the formula right with this strategy. We now have the funds for it to deliver real benefits to economic development, business success and student learning.”

Another new WelTec initiative to receive a kick-start from the funding is a programme to assist new and emerging businesses (sometimes called ‘sunrise’ industries) with knowledge development around advanced technologies.

“Improving the relevance of tertiary education provision is a central theme of the new Statement of Tertiary Education Priorities (STEP),” says TEC Chief Executive Janice Shiner.

“That is why those that received funding had to demonstrate how the cash injection would increase their capability to engage with business. In doing so they will promote the development of courses that are more closely aligned with the skill needs of employers.”

Up to $300,000 can be applied for each year, with ten ITPs receiving the maximum amount this year.

ENDS

Criteria used to assess applications

- Alignment with education and training needs of the region

- Links to regional development activity (or identified national skill or industry need)

- Stair casing being enabled from lower levels to higher levels or education and training

- New or improved linkages with other providers

- New or improved linkages with industry

- Regional or national provision being complemented

- Expected student achievement, including progress into higher levels of education

- Expected achievement by Maori and Pacific students

- Expected student destinations, including employment

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