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Polytechnics secure funding

17 June 2004

Polytechnics secure funding for regional skills projects

Seven polytechnics have been awarded grants for projects enabling them to better meet local skills needs, Regional and Industry Development Minister Jim Anderton and Acting Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Margaret Wilson announced today.

The funding is the fifth round of grants from the government’s $5 million Polytechnic Regional Development Fund. It was established in 2002 to enable and encourage polytechnics to collaborate with local industry and enterprise to develop skills-related initiatives that will support regional economic development.

Northland Polytechnic, Eastern Institute of Technology, Universal College of Learning, Wellington Institute of Technology, Aoraki Polytechnic, Otago Polytechnic and Southern Institute of Technology will receive funding totalling $457,002.

Jim Anderton said the funding confirmed the government’s commitment to assisting regions to develop sustainable economic futures.

"The level of interest among polytechnics and institutes of technology in addressing local skill and development priorities remains strong with seven institutions having had funding approved this round for a wide variety of initiatives," he said.

Margaret Wilson said the funding would assist regional polytechnics to focus on their core role of skilling the nation.

"This commitment by polytechnics and institutes of technology shows that they are keen to ensure they meet the long term needs of industries in their regions and play a key role in regional economic development," she said.

All applications were considered by the Regional Partnerships Programme Assessment Panel which is chaired by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and includes representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development, the Tertiary Education Commission, Te Puni Kokiri and two independent members.

Contact: Michael Gibbs [Margaret Wilson’s office], (04) 471 9154 or (021) 270 9115, e-mail: michael.gibbs@parliament.govt.nz, www.beehive.govt.nz/maharey.

Northland Polytechnic $141,500 to develop a training package for delivery of forestry units in secondary schools and by private training providers and the development of Certificate in Foundation Studies.

Eastern Institute of Technology $58,275 to undertake further work on the Food and Wine Visitor Centre. The funding will be used to employ a facilitator to work with five faculties within EIT and industry groups to build static displays, hold three exhibitions and develop a programme that will promote careers in the food and wine industry in the region.

Universal College of Learning (UCOL) $119,600 to provide targeted applied work-based construction training programmes to selected recruits to contribute to the extensive rebuilding and reconstruction required in the Manawatu-Rangitikei-Wanganui regions as a result of the February 2004 floods.

Wellington Institute of Technology $38,627 to undertake research and provide a report on the development of Weltec as a Centre for Innovation in Niche Manufacturing. Weltec is working with the region’s Creative Manufacturing Cluster to develop such a Centre.

Aoraki Polytechnic $47,000 to create a ‘one stop shop’ for all businesses in the Ashburton region to assist economic growth by enhancing the skills of the employees in all businesses.

Otago Polytechnic $10,000 to scope the demand for e-learning packages from business in the region and identify sources of e-learning expertise around the country.

Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) $42,000 to investigate the feasibility of establishing an engineering research development and design centre for the polytechnic.


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