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Southland to get new Trades Academy


A brand new Trades Academy will open in Southland next year, meaning secondary school students in every region of the country will now have the opportunity to gain practical skills while studying towards NCEA credits and tertiary qualifications, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce and Education Minister Hekia Parata announced.

“Southland is currently the only region in New Zealand without a Trades Academy and the recognition of the Southland Institute of Technology (SIT) as a Trades Academy lead provider will be a big boost to the skills pipeline for Southland employers,” Mr Joyce says.

“There are a number of labour shortages in Southland in trade-related industries and the new academy will provide secondary school students with an opportunity to transition into industries with good career opportunities in Southland.”

The new academy, to be known as the Murihiku Trades Academy, will begin operation next year and will initially have places for 40 students. SIT will work closely with local secondary schools to offer these places to their students.

Ms Parata says its establishment will create more learning opportunities for Southland students.

“Trades Academies are proving to be a popular learning choice for many  students and are helping to lift student achievement,” she says. “ Young people  highly motivated towards trade pathways as well as those who were at risk of dropping out are staying engaged in education, building  self-esteem, developing problem-solving and time

management skills and gaining qualifications.”

Last year, about 1,200 18-year-olds achieved NCEA Level 2 through Trades Academies and Youth Guarantee fees-free places that they otherwise would not have gained.

Next year the number of Trades Academy places available across the country will increase by 940 to 6190.

“Trades Academies are helping us achieve the lowest ever percentage of 15-19 year olds not in employment, education or training in the last quarter.  It’s a key part of the wider Youth Guarantee programme that’s really delivering for young kiwis”, says Mr Joyce.

Trades Academies are one of the key programmes in the skills section of the Business Growth Agenda to lift the educational achievement of young people and provide stronger vocational pathways, especially across regional New Zealand. 


  • Trades Academies are part of the Ministry of Education’s Youth Guarantee programme, which includes Vocational Pathways, Youth Guarantee Partnerships, STAR and Gateway, Achievement Retention Transitions, and Youth Guarantee fees-free places.
  • Trades Academies support secondary school students to gain NCEA Level 2 with practical learning opportunities relevant to vocational careers that are aligned to one of the Vocational Pathways for the six main New Zealand industry sectors. They involve learning within school and tertiary settings.
  • In 2015, there are currently 5,250 places at 23 Trades Academies, providing opportunities for students from more than 300 schools.
  • The 6,190 Trades Academy places from 2016 is an 18% increase from 2015, and a ten-fold increase over five years, from around 600 places in 2011, when Trades Academies were first established.
  • Provisional 2014 results indicate that, 85% of 18 year olds, who had participated in Trades Academies achieved at least NCEA Level 2, compared to 77% for a comparison group of 18 year olds, who had not participated in Trades Academies.

Steven Joyce, Hekia Parata

 NOVEMBER, 2015 2012