Trust helping Rotorua students get back on track

SND19-wk1-Rotorua studentsEveryone needs a second chance in life – and Te Arawa Lakes Trust in Rotorua is providing that opportunity for dozens of students every year, who have dropped out of secondary school.

Heddell Raerino, who manages the Trust’s Employment and Training Unit, says students aged 16 to 19 are given the chance to complete two different NCEA level 1 qualifications that will then help them progress onto further training and employment.

“We see ourselves as a place where students can mature,” Heddell says. “Our main focus is picking up those students that have fallen through the cracks of mainstream education and putting them back onto a pathway to succeed. They’ve just had a bit of a detour on their way to getting where they want to be.”

The trust’s Employment and Training Unit offers a National Certificate in Employment Skills, which is a 20-week course covering topics such as creating a CV, health and safety, interview skills, time management, keyboarding skills, as well as numeracy and literacy.

Heddell says about 70 per cent of students also complete the National Certificate in Automotive Skills, which is a 16-week course. There’s an automotive workshop and classrooms on site at the Employment and Training Unit’s base in Ngapuna, Rotorua, and two fulltime tutors oversee the coursework.

“Many of our students go on to do either NCEA level 2 or 3, or courses at places like polytech. Some go into the armed services as well and we work with the recruiting office here in Rotorua to help them gain entry.”

Numeracy and Literacy Support
This year BayTrust has given $21,000 to the Te Arawa Lakes Trust to help support the students’ needs. Extra pastoral care has been provided as a result, and another person will soon be employed to help focus specifically on literacy and numeracy skills.

“The tutors don’t have enough time to dedicate to those students who have high literacy and numeracy needs so this funding will help immensely,” Heddell explains.

“It’s heart-breaking for us when we see a student who wants to make a difference in their lives by doing these courses but we can’t take them because they wouldn’t be able to do the work.

This money will allow us to take more of those students on.

“We’re really thankful to BayTrust for helping us out and providing that assistance.”

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Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.
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