Students from the Taumarunui Trade Training School will celebrate the completion of their course at a graduation ceremony this Friday.
Five local rangatahi, who began their studies in August 2016, will receive the National Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4). The qualification is designed to give graduates a broad range of construction skills, knowledge of materials, and interpersonal skills.
Founded in 2012, the Taumarunui Trade Training School is a joint initiative between Hinengakau Development Trust and the Universal College of Learning (UCOL). The school was set up to provide young Taumarunui residents with better employment outcomes.
The school works with Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ruapehu District Council, Ministry of Social Development, and other local organisations to help the students progress through training and into employment. The school is currently working to place the students in jobs outside of Taumarunui.
UCOL Chief Executive Leeza Boyce says this graduation ceremony is a special occasion for UCOL.
"We are very proud of these students' achievements, and wish them the best as they embark on their careers in construction, wherever that takes them."
The ceremony will also see Te Puni Kōkiri Senior Advisor Graham Bell presented with a UCOL Council Honorary Associate Award.
Mr Bell, a graduate of the Government's original Māori Trades Training Scheme, helped to broker the relationship between Hinengakau Development Trust, UCOL, the Ministry of Social Development, and the Ruapehu District Council to set up the Taumarunui Trade Training School.
UCOL Council Chair Malcolm Inglis says Mr Bell has shown an incredible commitment to helping young people move into careers in the construction industry.
"The work Graham has done has helped create opportunities for over 50 graduates since the Trade Training School opened. In that time the school has become a highly regarded and well supported initiative in Taumarunui".
The school's 2017 intake will also be welcomed at the ceremony.
Taumarunui Trade Training School Graduation
Date: Friday 2 June
Venue: Taumarunui Trade Training School, corner of 426 Taupō Road and 1 BP Road, Mātāpuna, Taumarunui
Pictured above: Taumaranui students with New Zealand's Governor General the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy.