Automotive trades centre one of Otago Polytechnic‘s proposed projects

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 11, 2020

Otago Polytechnic has acted on the Government‘s call to develop ‘shovel-ready‘ projects, proposing two multimillion-dollar developments aimed at stimulating and supporting economic activity in our city and region.

The first is a proposed $31.7 million Engineering, Building and Construction Trades Training Centre at Otago Polytechnic‘s Dunedin campus. The second, an Automotive and Related Trades Training Centre in Kaikorai Valley, is estimated at more than $7 million.

Construction activity could begin within weeks, subject to consent and approval, and the project would likely employ around 40 tradespeople and construction management and consultants for up to a year.

Comprising one level plus mezzanine, the 3600sq m facility is a joint project with Ohara Holdings Ltd, which owns the land and would invest around $3 million to construct the building shell, then lease the facility to Otago Polytechnic, which would contribute about $3.5 million to complete the fit-out.

The purpose-built facility would deliver automotive, engineering and related trade qualifications and sit alongside Otago Polytechnic‘s recently opened Heavy Automotive Engineering programmes.

“It would provide additional capacity for Otago Polytechnic to deliver Modern Apprenticeship Programmes (MAPS), supporting on-job training with industry, supported by theory classes and block courses delivered from the new facility,” says Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker, adding the same would apply to the Trades Training Centre.

“This is an expanded activity for which Otago Polytechnic would take responsibility from 2021-22 onwards, as we assume the role of Industry Training Organisations as per the government‘s ITO sector reforms and the formation of the new NZIST.”

An economic impact report released last year showed the direct value of Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin campus to the city’s economy had risen by more than $40 million over five years, increasing from $136.5 million in 2014 to $179.4 million by 2018.

“Just as Otago Polytechnic has much to contribute to vocational education in New Zealand, we also acknowledge we have a part to play in an economic recovery,” says Ker.