No matter which qualification you choose, Central will give you the skills to get you work-ready.

If you are aged 16-19 you can take your first step towards an automotive apprenticeship by gaining a Certificate in Automotive and Mechanical Engineering (Level 2)

New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3)

  • Dunedin and Central Otago (Cromwell)
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 3
  • Starts February
  • Apply by early December (late applications may be accepted dependent on places)

Learn how to service general automotive systems. This qualification is designed for people who are beginning a career in the industry. Our Dunedin intake is full but currently waitlisting.

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If you are a high school student based in the Queenstown Lakes or Central Otago district and would like to get some hands-on experience in trades or technology, the Otago Secondary-Tertiary College could be the perfect option for you.

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If you’re a Year 11-13 secondary school student in Dunedin, Central Otago or Queenstown Lakes District you may be able to combine study at Otago Polytechnic with studies towards your NCEA at school by attending the Otago Secondary Tertiary College (formerly Central Lakes Trades Academy) which is available to school students throughout the region.

Teaching the right skills for the job

“I always warn the parents at prize-giving: ‘Look out – don’t be surprised if you come home to find your car in bits!’”

Richard is a lecturer at the Central Lakes Trade Academy in Cromwell, where he teaches high school students practical automotive skills in the Foundation to Automotive Engineering course. This course leads to Central’s pre-apprenticeship automotive programme.

Richard enjoys finding different ways of explaining concepts and encourages students to problem-solve on their own, rather than always relying on instruction manuals. “It’s a great subject to teach – watching students learn through trial and error, and seeing the progress they make.”

Job prospects in this area are growing, but businesses are becoming more selective about who they hire. Employers want specific skills – and they want mechanics who are properly trained and qualified. “We pride ourselves on training mechanics with the right skills for today’s job market,” says Richard.