National | Trade

NZ's largest trades education space launched

Unitec Institute of Technology has launched its new trades training building. It has been designed to support Unitec's approach to contemporary applied learning, creating an environment that reflects a modern job site and leads to highly skilled, work-ready graduates.

Unitec's new trades training building is humming.

Taura Here at The Unitec Institute of Technology Hohepa Renata (Ngāpuhi) explains, "The world is evolving so the institute has to evolve as well. The old buildings were out of date, so it's time to fill it modern technologies and that's why this building was set up."

Mataaho is NZ's largest open plan trades education space allowing a full spectrum of trades training under one roof.

Hohepa Renata elaborates further, "Mata is the face of the educational programs being run in the building and Aho are the pathways open to students, such as carpentry, plumbing and gas fitting, and automotive."

Dean of Engineering, Construction and Infrastructure Renee Davies maintains, "This building is trying to emulate a little of what you might find in a real workplace and also gives students the chance to interact and understand about the other disciplines that they'll be working with."

By combining simulation and emulation equipment with traditional hands-on methods of teaching, students are able to increase their level of practical experience dramatically.

Automotive Electronics student Elaine Pereira (Ngāpuhi) states, "Not only as tauira (students) do we get the same exposure to the stuff you would in a car but we have less risk now. We can have a tutu (explore), understand all the components of a motokā (car) before we get out there and have a real tutu on a motokā."

The facilities also allow Unitec to partner with commercial organisations to offer the most advanced training tools for their staff. These partnerships will also increase students exposure to the industry.

Carpentry student Dave Simpson says, "I think it's invaluable because when you go out into the industry itself you've already got a whole lot of knowledge behind you and employers will look at that and think that's fantastic."

The official opening took place this week.