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ITENZ Excellence Award winners for 2018 announced

In Hamilton last night, an electricity training manager scooped the top prize at the Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand Awards.

David Barnes, a tutor for the Electric Training Company, took out the Ako Aotearoa Supreme Award for his exceptional contribution to his learners. Boasting learners with the highest pass rates in the industry across New Zealand, David has been described as “…a ‘go to’ person within the industry. No-one has greater knowledge of or is more passionate about the subject matter than David.”

Four other awards were presented at the ceremony:
• Domestic Student of the Year - Joshua Phillips, Etco
• Tutor of the Year Award - David Barnes, Etco
• Support Person of the Year – Kerry Sykes, Pacific Coast Technical Institute
• Provider of the Year Award - People Potential

More about the Award winners:

Ako Aotearoa Supreme Award
The judging panel was unanimous in the decision to present the Supreme Award in 2018 to Tutor of the Year, David Barnes from Etco

David is Etco’s Regional Training Manager for 27 locations in the Wellington region. His region has been the top exam performer for the past seven years, both for Etco and for all New Zealand’s electrical industry training providers. His students’ pass rates are the highest in New Zealand.

David is described as an exceptional tutor, incredibly committed and able to identify the different ways in which individuals learn. The support he provides to students, who may be struggling with any aspect of their learning, results in students in his region consistently achieving the country’s best examination results in the subject. He is driven by a passion for the electrical industry and for teaching, completely dedicated to helping young people to become highly competent licensed electricians.

Domestic Student of the Year Award - sponsored by SEBDATA
Joshua Phillips from Etco

Joshua left school at the end of Year 12 to take up his apprenticeship with Etco making his mark from the outset. He consistently goes above and beyond in his learning and his work for clients and he pushes the boundaries of his study. He has displayed excellence, maturity and determination with an exceptional dedication to learning under all circumstances. He says, “to be honest, I love the subject so much that if feels more like a hobby than a job”.

Joshua’s leadership ability is evident, both in his support for his peers, the role he takes leading subject-matter conversations in tutorials, and his eagerness to take on responsibility in the workplace. He was among 12 high achieving apprentices selected to undertake Etco’s Future Leaders programme and is Etco’s current Apprentice of the Year. He has also launched his own business. His Etco host writes, “I have supervised a number of apprentices while working for other electrical contractors and Joshua is the best apprentice I have worked with”.

Tutor of the Year Award – sponsored by Office Max
David Barnes from Etco

For 18 years David has been Etco’s Regional Training Manager for the Wellington region. His responsibilities include providing technical training for apprentices and overseeing tutors at 27 locations. He provides extra support for students struggling with coursework and teaches block courses for overseas electricians. He has recently been appointed Learning Support Manager for New Zealand.

David is the embodiment of Etco’s commitment to provide pastoral care for its apprentices and students. An Industry manager said, “David is just amazing, one of a kind; he eats, sleeps and lives training. He will never leave work till the last trainee is helped”.

His extensive network throughout the industry means that he has recruited almost all of the part time evening class tutors in his region. Whether to one person, five or 500, David is a highly effective teacher. A former tutor wrote on social media: “… great catch-up with the Etco prophet David Barnes – an unbridled passion for teaching, that man.”

Support Person of the Year Award – sponsored by Artena
Kerry Sykes from Pacific Coast Technical Institute (PCTI)

Kerry started at PCTI in 2014 in a front of house reception role. Since then she moved into the Student Administrator role which incorporates administration, compliance, recruitment, student support and staff training. She is fully committed to both staff and students at the college and is always looking for ways to assist. One of her colleagues said that “Kerry is always voluntarily going above and beyond to help.”

Kerry is a strong advocate for students and is always looking for ways to improve student achievement. She will “investigate whether barriers can be broken down for a student/trainee to access education.” Kerry takes time to get to know people and is supportive to both students and their families. Not only does Kerry excel in the workplace, she is actively involved in volunteer roles in her community and is also studying towards a law degree. One of the external stakeholders summed up Kerry in this way, “Every business needs people like her to be the face of the company! She is awesome!”

Provider of the Year Award - sponsored by Hills
People Potential

People Potential is one of the largest PTEs in Northland offering qualifications from Level 1 to Level 6, specialising in foundation learning, with access to learning in places most needed. It is committed to the highest quality education, reflected in its Category 1 status of Highly Confident for both Educational Performance and Capability in Self-Assessment. The 2017 EER report says that, “there is a focus specifically on priority areas such as governance and management, performance of all programmes at all sites, the needs of the community, and providing education and training that supports the Tertiary Education Commission’s strategies”.

People Potential has consistently demonstrated strong strategic leadership with learners as the priority and at the centre of all strategic decisions. This has led to innovative practices and considerable success for its Māori and Pasifika learners enabling them to achieve academically and in the workplace. It has strong relationships with stakeholders, employers and communities, has initiated collaborative industry groups, and mentored and supported other providers to ensure that the local community need for tertiary education is met.

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