Over 400 secondary schools students from the lower North Island will be finishing the school year with new skills and knowledge in their chosen Vocational Pathway after completing U-Skills Academy programmes at UCOL Te Pūkenga.
The students will be recognised at a series of awards evenings in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wairarapa and Otaki over the next few weeks.
U-Skills Academy programmes
give secondary school students the option of learning at UCOL Te Pūkenga, or UCOL Te Pūkenga-approved sites one day a week. U-Skills Academy programmes focus on giving students industry-relevant skills and contribute towards their NCEA.
UCOL Te Pūkenga Schools Partnerships Manager Hayden Robinson says this year’s U-Skills Academy students were of a high calibre overall, and they have benefited from the programmes in a number of ways.
“U-Skills Academy programmes give students vocational pathway skills and knowledge. The programmes also give them a taste of a tertiary learning environment, help them with their personal growth and confidence, and can relate directly to employment or further training.”
“I’m in year 12 so I’m at the stage where I need to start thinking about tertiary study. Tertiary education is such an expense so I have to know what I’ll like studying before I make any decisions.”
“Our school doesn’t have Business as a subject. It’s something I’ve been interested in and I thought this course would be a good opportunity to get a better feel for Business.”
As part of the programme, Kaea and classmates Neihana Hania, Pani Brown, and Nikora Broughton created Munchie List, a snack food delivery service for students boarding at Hato Paora College.
“Our school is out of town, so the boys can’t easily just go out and get food. We would come into town for our course each Thursday, so we started a food delivery service where the boys would place orders with us. Then we’d get all of the orders while we’re in town, and charge a delivery fee.”
Kaea says studying Business Enterprise at UCOL Te Pūkenga gave him a good base understanding of how businesses work, and helped him learn about cooperation, and developing and pitching ideas.
“A big thing was learning about networking and making connections. We met a lot of entrepreneurs and got the opportunity to attend New Zealand Business Week.”
Enrolments for U-Skills Academy programmes are on track to grow in 2019, with over 330 students having already applied. For more information about the UCOL Te Pūkenga in-school study options for secondary students visit
U-Skills Academy Awards Evenings
Tuesday 16 October, 5pm - 7pm
Carterton Events Centre, 50 Holloway Street
Wednesday 17 October, 5pm - 7pm
Elwood Room, Palmerton North Conference & Function Centre, 54 Main Street
Wednesday 24 October, 5pm - 7pm.
Central Baptist Church, 285 Wicksteed Street
Wednesday 31 October , 6pm - 7pm
Otaki College Hall, 233 Mill Road
Pictured above: The team behind Munchie List: Kaea Tibbe, Neihana Hania, and Pani Brown (Nikora Broughton not pictured).