Otago Polytechnic introduces heavy vehicle certificate

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 14, 2019

Otago Polytechnic is opening a new avenue in its automotive programmes next month – a New Zealand Certificate in Heavy Automotive Engineering.

The Level 4 programme is the result of close consultation with local industry and meets an acknowledged skills shortage.

“It‘s a win-win,” says Hamish Miller, Otago Polytechnic Automotive Programme Manager.

“It gives learners a really strong grounding. In turn, that means it is great for employers looking for quality staff.”

Chief Executive Phil Ker says Otago Polytechnic is pleased to be meeting the needs of the heavy transport industry.

“The introduction of this programme is a good case study of our responsiveness.

“It demonstrates that although the Vocational Education system may have some challenges, Otago Polytechnic continues to grow its offerings and, in doing so, strengthens industry and other organisations in the region.”

The New Zealand Certificate in Heavy Automotive Engineering has strands in Road Transport, Plant and Equipment, Agricultural Equipment, and Materials Handling.

It is structured in the same format as Otago Polytechnic‘s light vehicle/auto electrical programmes, which have been highly successfully in training apprentices to meet industry needs in the Otago region.

Otago Polytechnic is also expanding its New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering

(Level 3) (Pre-Trade) programme to offer increased content training in heavy as well as light automotive engineering training.

Both of these programmes will be offered from July 2019 in our newly renovated premises in Donald St, Kaikorai Valley, Dunedin.

HT Driver Training

In addition to these, Otago Polytechnic plans to offer Heavy Transport Driver License* training from September.

“The trucking industry is growing and, at the moment, a lot of companies are looking for drivers, too,” Hamish says.

“So as well as training people to be HT mechanics, we are offering HT driver training, which means learners have a range of pathways once they complete their programmes with us.

“This flexibility is important. It means an employer can take on someone for a driving role knowing that person also has the requisite skills and training to move into a workshop – or vice-versa.

“And the people working on trucks have to be able to drive the vehicle anyway. For example, they might have to test-drive it before and/or after as well as get it into the workshop.”