The Government's investment in an initiative to produce more Kiwi engineers out into the workforce has shown positive results.
The Engineering Education to Employment (e2e) programme has hit its target of producing over 500 graduates per year, a full year ahead of schedule. A feat that has been confirmed by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).
Initially set up in 2014, the initiative promotes engineering and technology careers to students. Minister of Tertiary Education Paul Goldsmith says the Government is glad to see this outcome.
“It's very pleasing to see all the hard work by Engineering e2e, Futureintech, tertiary institutions, engineering professional organisations and others has really paid off.
The collaboration between ITPs (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics), industry pros and the initiative has enabled a focus on producing graduates ready to enter the workforce, says Goldsmith.
“I am pleased to see Engineering e2e is working closely with the ITP sector, and with engineering professional bodies to really focus on employer engagement to grow the pipeline of work-ready engineers.
The next step for Engineering e2e is to acknowledge their success, then focus on the work yet to be done in promoting higher level qualifications, says Goldsmith.
“More than 500 additional graduates each year is a step in the right direction though we still have quite a bit of work to do to address the balance of graduates across Diploma of Engineering (Level 6), Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Level 7) and Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Level 8) qualifications.
“Our big challenge, supported by employer feedback, is growing enrolments at institutes of technology, which specialise in level 6 and 7 qualifications.
After recently signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA), Engineering e2e will collaborate to offer sponsored degrees.
The Tertiary Education Commission funded sponsored degree pilot programme will hope to encourage more Level 7 qualifications. These higher qualifications are increasingly relevant in the rapidly changing engineering and tech industry.
Goldsmith says investing in engineers is investing in the infrastructure of New Zealand.
“Engineers help build the infrastructure that makes up our modern world. New Zealand needs more engineers to meet the growing demand for construction and infrastructure, and this Government is focussed on meeting those challenges into the future.