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Maharey Opens Porirua’s Learning Shop

30 May 2002

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey opened The Learning Shop, He Huarahi Ki Mua – the first of two pilot Learning and Assessment Centres funded in the 2001 budget - in Porirua this morning.

The Government provided $1.75 million over four years in Budget 2001 for the two pilot centres in Porirua and Kaitaia, which were established following advice from the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission. The Centres target adults with low level formal qualifications and will also link up with ‘second chance’ learners, people who want to boost their employment options, and those not reached via other learning initiatives.

Steve Maharey said it was a great pleasure to open the first centre in Porirua.

“The Learning Shop, He Huarahi Ki Mua offers a shop-front facility and will play a vital role in reaching out at street-level to potential learners and, importantly, will not duplicate support services already available in the community. Similar learning and assessment centres in countries like Britain and Canada have taught us that you can’t beat the face-to-face personalised approach.

“We want to make sure that increasing tertiary education participation and ensuring it remains accessible to everyone is practical and reaches out to those who are not participating via other tertiary education providers.

“Whitireia Community Polytechnic, who will run the shop in conjunction with an outreach service in Wellington and Otaki, are an established tertiary provider in the region with strong links to the local community.

“The Learning Shop intends using a variety of mentoring techniques to give students confidence to begin tertiary study and complete it successfully. These include using local people as mentors for one-to-one or group support, and involving the local Mäori, Pacific, Laotian and Cambodian and community church communities.

“By increasing the access points into and assistance and support in tertiary study more New Zealanders will be encouraged to gain skills necessary to enter the workforce and to participate fully in community life,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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