Training centre, up she goes

Otago Polytechnic Central Campus marketing and business development manager Melanie Kees looks over the beginnings of the polytechnic's new trades training facility at its Bannockburn Rd site. Photo: Pam Jones
Otago Polytechnic Central Campus marketing and business development manager Melanie Kees looks over the beginnings of the polytechnic's new trades training facility at its Bannockburn Rd site. Photo: Pam Jones
The roof is on, the students are on their way.

The timing of the $1.5million trades training facility for the Otago Polytechnic's Central Campus could not have been better for Central Otago's booming construction sector, as demand for apprentices continues to grow, campus leaders say.

Construction of the new Otago Secondary Tertiary College (OSTC), previously known as the Trades Academy, started last month after site works were done in May, Central Campus marketing and business development manager Melanie Kees said.

The project is the second half of a $3million redevelopment at the Central Campus' Bannockburn site. A $1.5million accommodation wing was completed earlier this year.

The trades facility would house the Central Campus' full-time and part-time carpentry and automotive students, as well as the new purpose-built brewery for the polytechnic's new brewery programmes, which would begin next year, Mrs Kees said.

''With our trades academy, we have noticed this year that more students are entering apprenticeships and are getting these opportunities earlier, so the demand for trades-trained students is continuing to grow.''

OSTC manager Andy Kilsby said demand for the secondary school positions at the OSTC continued to grow, and the Central Campus had been allocated extra student placements in 2018, up from 55 to almost 70.

''We have skills shortages evident in both Central and Coastal Otago, and schools are looking for innovative ways to engage students to complete school.''

Mrs Kees said the trades facility should be completed by mid-October.

An official opening/open day would be on December 1. Students would start using the building in early 2019.

The Central Campus has the equivalent of 200 full-time students, which equates to 600 enrolments.

pam.jones@odt.co.nz

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