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Unique trades education centre to be established

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

12 August 2005 Media Statement

Unique trades education centre to be established

Tradespeople who will help build, maintain, upgrade and fix the country’s infrastructure will soon have a unique learning environment thanks to a $4.9 million government grant, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) plans to establish a learning and innovation centre – TradeFIT - as a result of its successful application for Partnerships for Excellence funding.

“The government is pleased to be able to support such an exciting project which will improve the tertiary education sector’s ability to meet industry needs,” Trevor Mallard said.

CPIT’s partners, who have so far pledged $3.2 million to the project, include Orion and the Gough Group along with 45 other companies involved in construction and civil engineering.

The centre will include a simulated residential subdivision, in which trainees will gain skills in key infrastructural trades such as: construction, civil works, plumbing and gas fitting, brick and block laying along with drainage and water reticulation, telecommunications and electrical distribution.

“By establishing TradeFIT, CPIT and its partners are creating a training opportunity that currently doesn’t exist in New Zealand, if not the world, “ Trevor Mallard said.

“It will clearly help tackle the shortage of qualified, skilled trades people New Zealand is experiencing. It will not only improve the quality of training but increase the number of trade graduates too.”

The government has pledged more than $40 million this financial year to Partnerships for Excellence projects which are aimed at forging close ties between tertiary institutes and industry.

Partnerships for Excellence was established to enhance innovation, encourage greater private sector investment in tertiary education and to foster relationships between tertiary institutions, business and industry.

It allows tertiary institutions to seek funding from government for large-scale investment projects that will develop teaching and research partnerships between tertiary institutions and business.

“Partnerships for Excellence has created a climate for joint private investment. By doing so, it will increase the capability of the tertiary education sector to underpin New Zealand’s social, regional and economic development by producing graduates with skills more closely aligned with industry needs.”

To be eligible for the scheme, projects need to be new and unable to be funded through other means. Private sector investment has to match that of government, with government funding to be used for capital costs such as buildings and equipment or endowment funds.

The Tertiary Education Commission, which administers the scheme, assesses individual projects, with funding set aside as part of the government’s annual budget process.

Detailed information about Partnerships for Excellence, including the assessment criteria, can be found on the Tertiary Education Commission website at www.tec.govt.nz.

ENDS

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