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Qualified ... Courtney Richards (left), Jade Plant, Isaac Martin, Shannae Tasi, Wynona Prebble and Shane Armstrong are six of the nine students who graduated from the Ara Institute of Canterbury's New Zealand Certificate in Travel and Tourism (level 3) course last week. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

After months of hard work, a group of travel and tourism students at Ara Institute of Canterbury’s Oamaru campus has graduated with flying colours.

Nine New Zealand Certificate in Travel and Tourism (level 3) students graduated last Thursday.

Some are heading off to jobs in the industry and others are continuing their studies next year.

Campus adviser Lesley Hooper-Simpson said the fact many had already found work was testament to the standard of the six-month course.

“We have been lucky. Everyone who has studied has been employed within the tourism industry, or moving on to future study. We have a couple looking at Christchurch and a couple looking at Timaru.”

She said two students pulled out midway through the course after they found employment in other areas.

Wynona Prebble was named the course’s top academic student for 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed her time at the campus.

“It feels good,” she said of the honour. “All the teachers have been really good and I have had a lot of support as well. That’s really important.

She planned to continue studying next year.

“I’ll still keep studying. I’m certainly open to those opportunities.”

Travel and tourism tutor Gene Foster said the course was the ideal platform for students considering a career in the industry.

“They’ve been a great bunch – really motivated learners. It’s been a good stepping stone to higher learning.”

Ara’s Oamaru campus also offers business administration, agribusiness management and barista courses.