Engineering Programme Links Students to Industry


Engineering offers excellent job prospects in New Zealand and overseas.  Taranaki is the engineering hub of New Zealand.  The region’s three top industry sectors are energy, manufacturing and construction, all of which employ engineers. The regional faces future shortages of engineers and needs graduates at diploma and degree level.

The New Zealand education system offers flexibility for students in the secondary system to undertake part of their study at tertiary institutes.  The Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki (WITT) has developed a programme for Taranaki based secondary students within the government’s Engineering Education to Employment initiative.  The programme currently involves these schools:

The programme is aimed at students who are competent in Physics and Maths, who are considering a diploma or degree in engineering.  Tutor Yusuf Khan (pictured) has developed an innovative programme putting that exposes students to the latest engineering software technology. They undertake the work alongside their other school courses.  Year 11 and 12 students are offered a taste of engineering courses where they do computer based engineering design over four three-hour sessions in September and visit local engineering firms. It offers the unique opportunity of building connections with the engineering industry as students are introduced to engineering firms throughout the region.

In Year 13 the students can enrol in a WITT engineering fundamentals course in terms 1-3, which gives the students 8 credits (at NCEA L3) and a paper towards a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE). Those choosing the diploma pathway will have one less paper to do in their first year, providing a pathway into a diploma or degree in engineering. WITT is the only Independent Training Provider offering this paper to secondary students. 

This programme offers pathways into civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. The students' projects have real life applications, such as understanding how building materials perform in an earthquake. WITT’s Engineering and Trades Programme Manager Kyle Hall says that the students in the course are very motivated and driven to succeed at higher level of education.

This initiative would be attractive to international students looking to improve their English in a school environment and pathway into an engineering diploma or degree at New Zealand tertiary provider.  
For further information on contributing secondary schools or WITT see: