180 secondary school students were recognised as U-Skills graduates at a ceremony held at the Palmerston North Convention Centre last week.
The U-Skills Central Schools Academy is a Trades Academy that allows secondary school students to study programmes through UCOL. Students attend U-Skills courses one day a week at UCOL sites in Palmerston North, Wairarapa, Whanganui, and Levin. The programmes give industry relevant skills and count towards NCEA.
The Palmerston North ceremony celebrated graduates in 10 different programmes as diverse as Business Enterprise, Construction, Office Administration and Hospitality. Separate ceremonies will be held to recognise the 151 students who studied in Wairarapa, Whanganui, and Levin.
All graduates were presented with an Award of Recognition, with three students also receiving top awards.
Health student Hayley Johnson was named the Most Outstanding Student, Dana Christensen-Klenner (Business Enterprise) was the Most Improved, and Jordan Cambridge (Health) won Most Dedicated. They were selected from a group of 39 nominees.
Dana says she chose to enrol in the U-Skills Business Enterprise programme because she wants to study business after secondary school, and saw this a good starting point.
"It was a really good experience. I'd never done anything like it before and I met lots of really cool people. It was really enjoyable and a great way to learn."
As part of the programme, Dana and her classmates created Ecstatic, a business that connects sponsors with people and groups that need sponsorship.
UCOL Transition Manager - U-Skills Jaime Court says she is impressed with the calibre of students coming through the U-Skills programmes.
"The calibre of students is very high; it has to be for them to cope with the U-Skills workload as well as school."
"There was huge personal growth among our students. A lot of the have shown a real determination to not only achieve their credits but also develop their soft skills."
The U-Skills Central Schools Academy was established in 2012. Since then it has grown from 81 enrolled students to over 350 at the start of this year.
U-Skills awards ceremonies for Whanganui, Wairarapa, and Levin
Tuesday 18 October 5pm
The Avenue Kingsgate Hotel, 379 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui
Wednesday 19 October 4.30pm
Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park, High Street South, Masterton
Thursday 20 October 5.00pm
Te Takere, 10 Bath Street