Over the months of April and May, Connexis | Te Pūkenga launched two new scholarships to support ākonga (learners), the Financial Assistance Fund and the Outward Bound Scholarship.
The Financial Assistance Fund is aimed at taking some of the financial burden off ākonga to help them concentrate on reaching their career goals. This fund recognises the challenges faced by workers who need to balance their training programme with work, whānau, and other personal commitments. This fund looks to support those who need a little more help elsewhere in their life while they focus on getting qualified while working.
The Outward Bound Scholarship is about promoting the next generation of leaders in the infrastructure industry. As the infrastructure industry grows, strong leadership is important to build a good workplace and promote workforce retention.
The scholarships were made possible thanks to the Infrastructure Education and Training Charitable Trust (IETCT) grant, managed by Public Trust and established by the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation (IITO) when it was disestablished through the reform of vocational education (RoVE). Connexis was awarded the scholarship funding in 2022 and with it has been able to place nine future leaders on Outward Bound courses, support 25 learners facing hardship, and provide 40 laptops to assist learners in their training.
Connexis executive director Kaarin Gaukrodger says it is extremely gratifying to be able to provide learners with such tangible, practical support thanks to the IETCT grant.
“It is fantastic that Connexis can support the growth of our infrastructure businesses through increasing the capacity of their team with the relevant industry training, as well as provide extra support to learners where it is most needed,” she says.
“These learners represent the future of the infrastructure industry, and we want to recognise the challenges that come with working and learning, as well as the importance of strong leaders and their role in increasing productivity and ensuring quality infrastructure that will support the future growth of New Zealand. We look forward to seeing their success and sharing those stories to inspire others.”