Green light for Trade Training Centre

Otago Polytechnic welcomes the announcement of a multi-million-dollar Trade Training Centre, to be built at the heart of its Forth St Campus.

Dr David Clark, Labour MP for Dunedin North, and Dr Megan Gibbons, Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive, unveiled the project at a public gathering at the Dunedin Campus on Friday 24 July.

The $31.7 million Trade Training Centre project was submitted by Otago Polytechnic earlier this year in response to the Government’s call to develop “shovel-ready” projects, aimed at stimulating and supporting economic activity in the city and region.

“The project is significant to both the local and national construction industry as major contractors seek to recover from the economic impacts of the COVID lockdown,” Dr Gibbons says.

Construction activity could begin within months, subject to consent and approval.

The project is likely to employ around 200 tradespeople as well as construction managers and consultants until its completion in mid-2022.

The project would be resourced largely by local tradespersons and companies; construction materials would be sourced by one of the national construction material suppliers; and specialist equipment for the internal fit-out would be sourced both locally and nationally.

“We see our role at Otago Polytechnic as two-fold in the coming years: as we contribute to vocational education in New Zealand, we also acknowledge we have a part to play in the economic recovery,” Dr Gibbons says.

“At a time when young people and mature learners alike, are looking for new career pathways with strong job opportunities, the Trade Training Centre will supply qualified tradespeople for industry that we know local employers, and the country as a whole, will need.

“Future projects in Otago and Dunedin alone include the new Hospital as well as major construction and infrastructure projects planned by the Dunedin City Council and University of Otago for the next 10 years. All these will require a significant increase in qualified tradespeople across the spectrum.

“As a major training provider for engineering and trade – regionally and nationally, Otago Polytechnic is well placed to increase places for more students, as well as be agile in what programmes we deliver to meet the needs in our community,” Dr Gibbons says. 

“The new complex will provide an outstanding learning environment, offering modern learning facilities including common learning spaces, to meet industry and more sophisticated learner demands.”

Otago Polytechnic has witnessed a significant rise in student enrolments following the introduction of the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund, a $320 million programme that targets support for areas of study and training, giving learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19.

"Otago Polytechnic’s second semester vocational enrolments are up more than 400 compared to the same time last year.

“This equates to us being almost 7% above budgeted numbers for domestic EFTS for 2020 and is largely a result of the TTAF,” Dr Gibbons says.

Otago Polytechnic is a subsidiary of NZIST – a nationwide network of polytechnics and institutes of training.

 Project details:

  • Trade Training Centre will be constructed at Otago Polytechnic’s main Dunedin campus at Forth St
  • Total cost: $31.7 million (Government investing $28 million by way of grant and loan through its tagged contingency for infrastructure)
  • To date, around $4 million has been committed for planning and professional fees
  • Designed as a purpose-built three-storeyed facility to deliver trades training programmes
  • Construction likely to begin later this year. Contractor yet to be appointed (upon submission of building consent documentation, tender documentation will be sent to market with an estimated 4-6 week tender period)