Tool helps students identify and develop skills

Otago Polytechnic CEO, Phil Ker. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Phil Ker.
A new digital tool aims to prepare Otago Polytechnic students for life after study.

Called i am capable, the digital platform has been developed by the polytechnic so students can identify and develop their transferable skills.

Students will be able to prove to potential employers they have developed up to 25 different skills, including problem-solving, critical thinking, independence, resilience, effective communication and working as part of a team.

It will made available to about 1500 students from Monday, in time for the start of the second semester.

All students will be able to access the tool from the start of 2020.

Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker said the platform was developed in response to feedback from employers about what skills they wanted in potential employees.

''Our research process has had a very high level of employer engagement, and employers across multiple vocational areas have told us these are the learner capabilities they seek in prospective employees.''

The initiative demonstrated the polytechnic's responsiveness to the needs of local industry and dedication to providing a ''world-class'' education, Mr Ker said.

In the context of the Government's proposed reforms to the polytechnic sector, Otago Polytechnic was offering another innovative response to the needs of employers and industry, which must be allowed to continue under any changes, he said.

A school version is already being trialled by pupils at Otago Girls' High School, Otago Boys' High School and Tokomairiro High School.

Otago Boys' High School rector Richard Hall said the school hoped the tool would help pupils create a strong set of credible skills that were sought after by tertiary institutions and employers.

''The New Zealand curriculum document specifies that students will be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.''

For Otago Boys' High School, the chance to focus on such attributes - particularly in an assessment-driven educational system - was too good to pass up, Mr Hall said.

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