Dairying course in Oamaru


Enrolments and applications for Aoraki Polytechnic’s Oamaru Campus remain similar to last year, according to chief executive Alex Cabrera.

The polytechnic’s main campus is in Timaru, but it has campuses in Dunedin, Oamaru, Christchurch and Ashburton, with various courses offered.

Mr Cabrera said it was pleasing to see plenty of enrolments and applications for the polytech.

“We don’t have a cut-off date for applications, meaning we accept enrolments right up until the start date. Also, many programmes in Oamaru have start dates throughout the year, so the numbers are likely to change.”

Last year was a successful year with secondary/tertiary partnerships. A total of 21 secondary students commenced the year with Aoraki, with another 48 commencing on programmes at midyear.

For 2015, all secondary schools from East Otago High to Mt Hutt College have pupils on the Aoraki VPath programmes, with 190 applicants for the programmes offered. They will take place on the Ashburton, Timaru and Oamaru campuses.

Mr Cabrera said primary industries and trades were a key focus for the polytech and good progress was being made in these areas.

Aoraki is offering 10 new programmes for 2015 with one of them the New Zealand Certificate in Dairy Systems (engineering level 4) to be based in Oamaru.

“In Oamaru we currently offer agriculture, beauty therapy, business (including ownership, management, accounting), parenting and care of children, life skills and hospital.”

Mr Cabrera said the new dairy course should provide some interest.

“The polytechnic is proposing the New Zealand Certificate in Dairy Systems (Engineering Level 4), with strands in milking systems and pumping systems. This unique qualification will provide the dairy industry with much needed tradespeople who have the multidisciplinary knowledge and skills to work in this niche industry.

“The first year of the new dairy qualification will be offered as part of the polytechnic’s general engineering course, with the next intake commencing in February 2015.”

Work is being done by Aoraki Polytechnic to work with local dairy companies.

“Aoraki Polytechnic is working with local dairy companies, including Oceania Dairy, Synlait, Westland Milk and Fonterra, on delivery options to support the learning of those both already in the industry and for those wishing to enter at their various dairy operations.

“It is planned that the new dairy processing qualifications will be ready to deliver in July 2015,” Mr Cabrera said.

Meanwhile, there is no further update on the possibility of a merger between Aoraki Polytechnic and CPIT.

By Brayden Lindsay

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