By Yana O'Gorman firstname.lastname@example.org
Pukekohe's private training centre, Trade and Commerce have recently introduced a new course to their students.
This automotive course now offers students a chance to gain their NCEA level two certificate, and gives them experience in automotive skills to encourage further study or employment.
The course, which started only eight weeks ago has been a hit with the students.
Programme manager Louisa Hunter says while they formerly offered a basic foundations automotive course, this new course gives students more experience and a higher qualification.
"The aim is to get them work ready," she says. The programme is a mixture of theoretical classroom sessions, and practical workshop sessions where the students work on getting a trailer ready to pass its WOF inspection, and rebuilding an engine.
The 26 week course is free for people 16 years and over.
"For a lot of them school wasn't the right fit, but this is a place where they can come and learn skills and achieve," Louisa says.
Trade and Commerce also offers a course in hospitality. The students learn basic cooking skills, health and nutrition, and learn front and back of house skills.
"We have students starting each week. It's a tailored programme so we take what they already know and work from there," Louisa says.
She says the programmes help students develop skills for life and grow their character.
"It is a safe place of learning," she says. "They know they can talk to other students or come to us. Whether they have learning difficulties or disabilities, there's support for them from all of us."
Trade and Commerce has been operating out of Pukekohe for 20 years, and has seen hundreds of students graduate from their courses, and go on to further tertiary study or employment.
Caption: Students Vaughn Ripia and Pare Tamati work on taking apart an engine.