CPIT Aoraki business courses use innovative new model

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16 Mar 2016

The new business programmes take a project based approach The new business programmes take a project based approach.

Students now have the chance to learn business administration skills in a business setting thanks to two innovative new programmes for the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Administration and Technology) introduced by CPIT Aoraki's Business Department. Manager for Business Administration Programmes Nicky Hodges says the new programmes are based on feedback from industry and market research undertaken by the Business Department to find out what skills employers want staff to have. The programmes also teach the top 10 skills Business New Zealand says employers are looking for.

"Our feedback from industry was that they want people who think outside the box with a strong emphasis on the soft skills: problem solving, communication, team work and building rapport. So we have devised two programmes which give students the opportunity to develop all of these skills while acquiring industry specific technical skills," Hodges says.

The programmes, which are available in Christchurch, Ashburton and Timaru, take a project-based approach to teaching, where students work for a fictional company. They are then assigned real world tasks to solve. Part of solving the tasks is working out what skills and information they need. They can then approach the programme tutors, acting as managers, and make requests for information. Consequently students are constantly working together, developing problem solving abilities and their ability to communicate and work in teams.

Students are placed in the scenario of working for a small, expanding company. They then start to develop franchises in other cities and students in Timaru, Ashburton and Christchurch meet by Skype to develop the business and the franchises.

 "The programme simulates the processes which you have to go through in a business, teaching students how companies grow and how to work with management," Hodges says.

Students are assessed on the basis of portfolios they put together as the business projects develop. The programmes expose the students not only to a range of software and technology but also to important legislation such as copyright, privacy, health and safety, and employment relations law. On completing the programmes, students would have gained general business administration skills.

"Students that have completed the Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Business (Administration and Technology) will be able to work under supervision in office administration, while students who complete the Level 4 programme will be able to work independently as office administrators."

Each course is a semester long, so students can complete Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications in a single year of study.

These programmes are suitable across a broad range of age groups and graduates will be equipped to provide office support in a variety of organisations.

Students under the age of 19 may be eligible to study the Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Business (Administration and Technology) for free under the Youth Guarantee scheme.

In addition to the new business administration programmes in Christchurch, Ashburton and Timaru, CPIT Aoraki's Business Department is also now offering a number of MYOB three-day short courses in Ashburton and Timaru teaching MYOB general office and general ledger.

"MYOB has done a lot recently to increase its functionality. It really is very good software that can help New Zealand businesses," Hodges says.