New focus for youth training
22 March 2013
New focus for youth training
A Ceremony was held yesterday to recognise the 16 and 17 year olds who were chosen from a large pool of applicants to study at UCOL under the Government’s Youth Guarantee initiative, receiving a year of study fees paid.
UCOL’s Youth Guarantee Coordinator Save Seruvatu says this year is the institute’s third year of offering the scholarship and it will see a new focus for the scheme. “We’ve introduced a four-way partnership concept where there is a contract between the Government, UCOL, the student, and their parent/s or caregiver/s so that everybody has a role to play and the likelihood of the student completing their qualification is higher.”
“We have an open line of communication, and we will have mid-semester catch ups where we meet with every student and parent to assess how the student is going and whether we may need to refocus,” Mr Seruvatu says.
There has also been a more robust selection process put in place which requires applicants to undergo a full interview process.
“We want the students to see that filling one of the places allocated for Youth Guarantee scholars in our programmes is special, something to be proud of and confident about. The fact is that they do need to compete for a space and if they get one it’s a very good starting block.”
“Students leave school for many different reasons. This initiative allows them to integrate into the tertiary environment and to gain from the experience of relating to a wider age group. My priority is to ensure they feel valued and supported enough to succeed.”
Scholarship recipient Ellie Matthews is studying for the Certificate in Science and Health at the Whanganui Campus, with an aim to go on to do nursing next year. “I chose to come to UCOL instead of doing year 13 because I wanted a different environment. I’m really enjoying the course so far and I know it will be a solid building block for the future.”
Edward Turner has also been awarded a scholarship and is working towards the Certificate in Electrical and Related Trades as a taster for going on to Level 6 study. “I have my whole future planned out; I will do the Apprenticeship in Heavy Electronics, then a degree, then perhaps work on the turbines and look into alternative power supplies overseas. My dream is to do a Masters and get into Architecture so I can combine electrical knowledge and housing knowledge.”
UCOL Deputy Chief Executive Academic Bonnie Dewart says a number of UCOL’s key priorities concern youth. “We want to see more young people moving successfully from school into tertiary education, and more young people achieving qualifications at Level four and above, particularly degrees. To achieve this we will support youth by providing good pathway information and guidance, effective teaching, and a sense of community with a strong student voice.”