HomeNewsUCOL Te Pūkenga sees impressive increase in demand for in-school tertiary programmes

UCOL Te Pūkenga sees impressive increase in demand for in-school tertiary programmes

By UCOL on Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Hayden Robinson

A growing number of enthusiastic ākonga (learners) are seizing the opportunity to gain valuable study and work experience before leaving high school, with enrolment numbers for the UCOL Te Pūkenga 3+2 programme more than doubling since 2021.

Hayden Robinson, UCOL’s Director of Secondary Tertiary says UCOL has had an overwhelming response from schools around the region in response to the programme.

“We’ve had some really positive feedback from schools and they’re pushing their ākonga to jump on board and take part in our programme - it’s awesome!”

The 3+2 programme offers ākonga who are still enrolled at school the chance to participate in a full tertiary programme, says Robinson.

“The programme is a great foundation for ākonga who are looking to start tertiary training, an apprenticeship or get a qualification. It gives them a taste of their future careers and once they finish their course with us, they can continue into a higher level of study or walk straight into apprenticeships or employment.”

UCOL’s 3+2 programme covers a wide variety of programmes across its four campuses including construction, mechanical engineering, hospitality, plumbing, hairdressing, and more. 

“During the programme, ākonga traditionally spend three days a week at UCOL and two days a week at school as they work towards a New Zealand Certificate.”

Kallum Gullery, a Palmerston North Boys High School student, recently completed his NZ Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting & Drainlaying Level 3. He says that the 3+2 programme set him up well for his new job. 

“I had already done a little bit of holiday work in the industry beforehand and knew I had an interest in plumbing. So when I saw the course was offered at my school, I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn and give me an edge in the workforce later on.

“I just landed my first plumbing job and I’ll be beginning my apprenticeship with them in early 2024. I feel well prepared, thanks to my time at UCOL. The hands-on experience was a massive highlight and it showed me what to expect when I’m on the job. All the skills I was taught at UCOL I’ve put into practice, and I keep surprising my boss and coworkers with the knowledge I have!”

Madison Foote, a Wairarapa College student, has recently finished the New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support) Level 3 at UCOL’s Wairarapa campus. She feels that UCOL helped her to get her foot in the door and kick start her career too.

“UCOL helps you heaps during the course and stick by your side the whole way through. They even helped me to secure my apprenticeship at a commercial salon in Wairarapa. I just finished my first year with the salon and they’ve offered to keep me on full-time for the second year of my apprenticeship!

“I really recommend this programme to other high school ākonga. It gives you a headstart in your career and introduces you to the community you want to work in.”

The 3+2 programme allows ākonga to enjoy a good work and study balance too, says Robinson.

“Ākonga still get to make the most of being at school when they study with us - they can continue to play sports, and go to their school ball, but they also get their career rolling.”

Gullery says for high school students considering a career in the trades, UCOL’s 3+2 programme is a great place to start. 

“It will give you the upper hand when you’re ready to get out into the workforce. It’s worth it!”

For more information about UCOL’s 3+2 programme, interested ākonga are encouraged to get in touch with their school careers advisor or email u-skills@ucol.ac.nz

Enrolments for many courses are open now, with details available HERE.