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Waiariki Launches 64 New Scholarships

November 11, 2004

Waiariki Launches 64 New Scholarships

More than 60 people who have previously faced barriers to tertiary education will have their first year course fees paid next year through Waiariki Institute of Technology's new Pathways to Jobs scholarships.

The Pathways to Jobs scholarships will be aimed at people of all ages who would not normally consider undertaking tertiary education because of financial and other obstacles.

Waiariki CEO Dr Reynold Macpherson says the institute will cover the tuition cost for 64 first year courses next year, across a variety of study programmes. The combined value of the scholarships is more than $184,000.

"There are two main reasons why we are offering the Pathway scholarships. Some people face hurdles in undertaking tertiary studies and employers are also finding it increasingly difficult get workers with the right skills."

Research conducted by Waiariki earlier this year showed some of the most common barriers included financial limitations, lack of transport, family commitments and access to child care.

A Skills Gap Analysis carried out within the Waiariki catchment area also predicted a severe shortage of skilled employees in the near future, as well as other supply and demand issues surrounding that.

APR Consultants CEO Deryck Shaw was involved with the Skills Gap Analysis and in setting up the Pathways to Jobs scholarships.

"Trends show that employment within the Waiariki region is continuing to grow, yet already employers are finding it difficult to get workers with the right skills. We could see this projected into the future and hope annual Pathway scholarships will go someway to alleviating the problem."

Macpherson says due to the shortage of skilled employees it made sense to offer an opportunity for local businesses and organisations to be involved with Pathway.

"Businesses or organisations can sponsor a Pathway student for only $500. While Waiariki will cover their full course costs the sponsorship monies could be used to cover other course-related costs, such as transport, books or childcare.

"Businesses are already showing interest. They select a course related to their skill needs, help select the right student, maybe offer work experience, and if the relationship works, offer the person a job. Getting the right person with the right skills at the right time for only $500 is very good value for money, when you take the long term view."

Waiariki will call for scholarship applications within the next two weeks.

The scholarships will be offered across all three Waiariki campuses.


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