Private Training Institutions (PTEs) have a major national role to play in optimising the skills of the resident communities, preparing them for employment, Pacific Island Affairs Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-liga has said.
“Apart from offering appropriate courses and programmes, these education providers should be true partners in our quest for maximising employment opportunities for our people,” he said.
Mr Lotu-liga, who is also Associate Local Government Minister, was speaking at the Graduation ceremony of New Zealand Career College on Saturday, March 21 at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Grammar School.
About 285 students of the institution’s Auckland campuses graduated in Certificate in Health Care Support (Level 4), National Certificate in Early Childhood Education & Care (Level 3), Certificate in Early Childhood Education & Care (Level 3), Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Pasifika) (Level 5), and Certificate in Early Childhood Education & Out of School Care (Level 3).
The Graduation Ceremony this year was special, as NZCC is marking its tenth anniversary and its achievement of enrolling 1000 students.
Key to employment
“Education is the key to employment and an undertaking to enable people to realise their full potential. Providing better education to their children was the dream that prompted most migrants to New Zealand and institutions such as NZCC has helped them to realise their dreams,” Mr Lotu-liga said.
He claimed that his Government is committed to maximising the benefits of education among all sections of the society.
“We are aware of the challenges that education poses to people, especially if they have responsibilities as earning members of the family, as parents and as caregivers. I am happy that institutions like NZCC are geared towards such people who want to take up further education. The growth of this PTE has been underscored by the employment and career opportunities that it has provided to thousands of students during its ten years of operations,” Mr Lotu-liga said.
Earlier in his welcome address, NZCC Managing Director Feroz Ali said that from its humble beginnings in 2004, the Institution has grown to provide quality learning and teaching to Maori, Pacific Island, Indian and other ethnic groups in the country, in addition to catering to international students.
He paid tribute to his late father Rahmat Ali, saying that his wisdom, honesty and hard work were a source of inspiration and encouragement to him.
“NZCC has crossed several milestones in its ten-years of existence and figures demonstrate the achievements. More than 3800 persons have been trained over the years, while 6000 students have graduated from our Campuses so far. For the first time, the total number of students would cross the 1000 mark,” he said.
Mr Ali said that NZCC commenced its operations ten years ago teaching ECE in Christchurch with just 17 students. Since then we have not only increased the number of students but also diversified our courses and programmes. We propose to introduce MBA Level 7 Programme in July this year. We are confident that it would become popular and help to achieve our aims and objectives continuously,” he said.
He said that among the objectives of NZCC is to support students to be successful, improve their work knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and enable them to become employable, professional, confident, self-managed and socially capable individuals or access higher tertiary education.
NZCC today operates six campuses including Auckland Central, Waitakere, Manukau (Lambie Drive & Puhinui Road), Wellington, and Christchurch.
The collective cohort of students served is aged from 16-64 years.
NZCC graduate Kalala Michaels, in her Attestation recounted how NZCC helped her to move from a state of distress to a status of good employment
A migrant from Samoa (1988), she was employed in a company, which made her redundant following its decision to move to Australia in 2002.
“The financial stress that followed was immense and as a mother of two children, I was nervous about our future. I had heard about the ECE courses offered by NZCC and decided to enrol. I am now happy that I have become employable,” she said.
Ms Michaels said that as a Samoan, she was aware of her priorities towards her parents, spouse, children, church and the community. NZCC provided a good opportunity to achieve higher education without upsetting her family life.
“This is not the end of my education. I will continue to study and improve my job status. I have now come to believe that anything is possible through determination and sincere work but it is equally important to have a good tertiary provider. NZCC performs that role well,” she said.
Among the highlights of the Graduation Ceremony were the presence of Cook Islands Queen Pa Marie Ariki, performances by the Anuanua Dance Troupe and Selio Solomon, Chief Executive of Martin Hautus Institute.