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U-Skills students’ success tops 83 percent

23 November 2012

U-Skills students’ success tops 83 percent

Proud friends and families, school teachers and UCOL staff gathered at UCOL yesterday to celebrate the graduation of 67 U-Skills students from throughout the region.

The secondary school age students were the first graduates of one of the Government’s new trade’s academies, called U-Skills Central School Academy, led by UCOL this year. The 67 students represent an impressive completion rate of 83 percent.

Travelling from as far afield as Whanganui, Horowhenua and Wairarapa, the graduates were each presented with a certificate of completion and recognition of their commitment to their studies.

There will be even more graduates next year as UCOL has secured an additional 50 trades academy places for 2013. That increase brings the total to 150 across programmes in Retail, Hair and Beauty, Hospitality, Construction, Joinery, Automotive, Health, Farm Skills, Electronic Technology and Mechanical Engineering.

Trades academies allow students to be enrolled at both their secondary school and a tertiary training provider.

U-Skills training is provided one day a week at UCOL or at other sites. The other days are spent at school studying towards NCEA. The study is free and transport is funded.
Manager of U-Skills Jacqui Phillips says the graduation ceremony is a culmination of a challenging but rewarding year of setting up the new academy. “It has been a steep learning curve for everyone but with some great outcomes for all.”

“We have assisted students to plan their future pathways including staying at school or going onto further tertiary study. We’ve even had a few students who have found jobs and apprenticeships before completing the course,” she says.

“Studying under U-Skills offers the best of both worlds to students taking part,” says Jacqui. “They can continue to enjoy the support of their school environment and keep their friends, cultural and sporting activities, while experiencing study at a tertiary level and starting to build a career.”


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