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Campaign to boost engineering study at polytechs

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

22 July 2014

Campaign to boost engineering study at polytechs

The Government is sponsoring a big push for more enrolments in Level 6 and 7 engineering courses in the country’s institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs), Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce says.

Mr Joyce today launched a new Engineering - Education to Employment (E2E) initiative to promote engineering as a career to students, with bridging courses, work placements, and scholarships.

“Since we boosted our investments in engineering provision in Budgets 2012 and 2013, we have seen a very good pick up in enrolments at the professional level in universities,” Mr Joyce says.

“The big challenge now is to grow more enrolments at institutes of technology for people wanting to become engineering technologists and technicians.

“Unfortunately many people still think the only option for becoming an engineer is as a university graduate. While having more graduate professional engineers is very important, companies are telling us there is a real need for engineering technicians and technologists that have studied to diploma or degree level at Institutes of Technology.”

Mr Joyce says Engineering E2E is about industry, schools, our metropolitan ITPs, and the Tertiary Education Commission working together to increase the number of students choosing this option for training for a career as an engineer.

“The number of engineering technologists and technicians graduating each year is less than half of that needed to meet industry’s business-as-usual needs; and we want to see the numbers grow further,” Mr Joyce says.

“Engineering makes a critical and exciting contribution to our society, and allows our industries to compete on the world stage. The challenge is that we need to be producing significantly more of them to meet industry demand today and in the future.”

Mr Joyce says Engineering E2E will involve a nationwide marketing plan to prospective students, greater support for students interested in engineering, more collaboration between ITPs and companies that hire their engineering graduates, and more collaboration between schools and tertiary providers to promote engineering and the requisite STEM subjects at school.

“The Government’s engineering push is part of the ‘Skills for Industry’ goal of the just-released Tertiary Education Strategy. We have a big focus on lifting graduate numbers in areas where there are shortages in the labour market like in ICT, engineering, and the primary sector,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government is targeting 500 extra engineering graduates per year from 2017. It’s good to see the National Engineering Education Plan is backing that target.

“We injected an extra $42 million in Budget 2012, and $9.34 million in Budget 2013, to grow engineering student numbers. E2E will really boost our progress towards that target, and open up exciting new career possibilities for many young New Zealanders”.

ENDS

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