Students back to Witt and race to trades courses

As Witt gears up to welcome more than 2000 students back to study this week, enrolments in trades courses are eclipsing previous years.

About 2180 students are enrolled at Witt for the first semester, and more than 150 of those students will be in trades, with applications in the automotive sector have hit a five year high.

The increased numbers come on the back of the polytech working with schools and the Got a Trade? Got it Made! promotion.

Trades Faculty Leader Angela Ferguson said that by mid February there had been 63 applications in automotive, 32 in construction, 48 in electrical and 18 in mechanical engineering.

School students who have an interest in the trades find their needs are well catered for by transition programmes through Witt’s Secondary Tertiary Pathway department, she said.

This year Witt also introduces a new programme under the Secondary Tertiary Pathway umbrella for year 12 and 13 students with an interest in Engineering. 

The programme is aligned with industry and incorporates one day a week work experience and a trailer building project at Witt one day a week.  This was recently announced with partners Taranaki Futures and Engineering Taranaki Consortium. 

“There are still spaces available on this new and exciting programme,” Ferguson said.

It was clear that awareness of the courses had increased, and that students were understanding the message of the “Got a Trade?” programme.

“Our Trades Academy, for example, is oversubscribed this year,” she said.

“There is a bevy of options available, and there will be more in July.”

Orientation Week begins on February 25 and will feature powhiri at the New Plymouth campus on Monday and Hāwera on Tuesday.