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New WelTec tutor comes a long way

New WelTec tutor comes a long way

It’s a long journey from Glasgow to Petone but one that the new joinery tutor at Weltec was pleased to make. Ian Hill and his wife Yvonne had been planning to leave Scotland for a better lifestyle for their two sons, and warmer weather of course.

With over 15 years as a joinery tutor and owner of a construction business just out of Glasgow he started researching similar work in New Zealand. It all came together for him.

“I found the WelTec website and looked at their situations vacant. They needed a joinery tutor. So I looked pretty hard at the photos of their facilities and workshops and that convinced me. So I emailed them. As it happens the Academic Director was visiting Inverness. He suggested I pop up to see him. I don’t think he realised how far it was! But I did. Now I’m here.”

Andrew Batt, Head of the WelTec Centre for Trades and Industry Technology, says that Ian was the ideal person for the job. “We weren’t able to find anyone with Ian’s combination of practical and teaching skills in New Zealand,” says Andrew. “The skills shortages have their impact on WelTec as well.”

Ian is already noticing changes in his lifestyle. “Scotland is a terrible climate to build houses,” he says. “My boys are in smaller classes at school and learning about new things like Maori language. We can have a more outdoor life and enjoy nature more.

“It’s also accepted here that it is good practice for teachers to also work in the industry. This means that tutors are working with modern practices and materials. That doesn’t happen in Britain,” Ian says. “There’s a lot more energy here too.”

Of course, Ian has plans for his new role at WelTec. “There are some new ideas and technology for teaching that would work well for the students. Ian would also like to involve students in the community, which is something he introduced to his students in Glasgow, with great success.


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