Ara leaders get down to business in Timaru

News News & events

30 Jan 2017

Ara councillors are visiting Timaru businesses, and meeting with Aoraki Development, South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce, school principals and Ara Timaru Campus staff today (30 January) and tomorrow to continue to familiarise themselves with the business and community needs of South Canterbury.

The Ara leadership team will join the council in Timaru on Monday afternoon ahead of the Ara Council meeting on Tuesday 31 January at 9.15am.

Kay Giles, CE of Ara, and Wendy Clarke, CE of South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce signed an MOU to provide online business training in South Canterbury recently.

Councillors will visit Alvin and Judith Reid’s innovative Pleasant Point Automated Dairy Farm to learn about the wide range of technical skills needed for the jobs of the future. Surveillance cameras, a pasture-scanning drone and robotic milking machines make this dairy farm one of the more technologically advanced in the country.

Thompson Construction, Engineering & Precast is another innovative company that councillors will visit, prior to being briefed by Aoraki development on regional labour market analysis and the alignment to Ara programmes for South Canterbury.

Councillors will dine with South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce to celebrate and discuss the recent MOU between the two organisations, which will provide a new collaborative training model for online business programmes in South Canterbury.

Tuesday morning sees Timaru area principals attending a breakfast with the councillors and leadership team.

Providing accessible and relevant tertiary training to South Canterbury has been high on the council’s agenda since Ara was launched in March 2016, following the merger of Aoraki Polytechnic and Christchurch-based CPIT.

“The business case for the merger that was approved by the Minister clearly stated that the new organisation would enable the entire Canterbury region to grow and prosper through provision of targeted, world class tertiary training,” Ara Council Deputy Chair, and former Aoraki Polytechnic Council Chair, Janie Annear said.

Ara relies on input from sector leaders and the community to inform programme style and content, and ensure that Ara equips graduates with the skills that are demanded by workplaces now and in the future.