Principals learn by doing with local pathway providers


This year’s Instep Principals’ Day Out focused on ‘hands on’ learning pathways offered by some of our local tertiary providers, with an emphasis on direct progression from education to employment opportunities. 

The day began with a trip to JNP Aviation and Training, a training school recently established to cover the ground-handling aspects of aviation – the first of its kind in New Zealand and responsible for training and developing staff for the likes of Air New Zealand. JNP have successfully gained accreditation for their Level 3 Ground Handling programme, which takes place at their base adjacent to Tauranga Airport, with two intakes starting 2022.

The Principals were introduced to some of the JNP team, briefed on the industry and the skills desired by it, given access to watch up-close ‘the dance’ that ground staff execute seamlessly as aircraft arrive, and taken to areas of the airport not usually visible to the general public. 

Next stop was Pacific Coast Technical Institute with a focus on their Food and Beverage Manufacturing Trades Academy programme. The programme is proving to be highly popular, versatile and rewarding for the secondary schools who already have students participating. Co-director Mark Hellyer and the team led a session showcasing some of the innovative and commercially successful products that have been developed. The group were able to compare and contrast the qualities of different ingredients, sampling such delicacies as chocolate honey and pohutakawa-flavoured ice cream along the way.

After a delicious lunch prepared by the awesome team at Classic Flyers, the Principals were treated to an overview of the opportunities and benefits available to students that are considering a career in the New Zealand Defence Forces. A range of Tauranga Moana secondary school alumni spoke via pre-recorded videos from their various posts, around the country and the world, reinforcing the message that the services offer a life of challenge, travel, adventure and incredible opportunities.

A bit of (mostly) light-hearted competition was then encouraged as the group was split into two teams to complete four leadership-based challenges. It was incredible to witness the lengths these role models of our rangatahi will go to, to win a game of fast-paced Connect 4! 

The day was well received by the Principals and the places we visited alike. Mt Maunganui College Principal, Alastair Sinton, commented, “I always look forward to the annual Principals’ Day Out. It is refreshing to feel the energy of local businesses who are not only passionate about their industry but also the development of our region. The pockets of great work we met today focused on developing strong future pathways for our rangatahi that help frame and challenge our thinking.”  

There’s now plenty of opportunity for further connections to be made to support the aspirations of our Tauranga Moana rangatahi and continue to bring our schools and business communities closer together.