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Pathway to police career opens up

UCOL Te Pūkenga’s Wairarapa campus has announced it will be offering the Police Pathways Programme in 2024.

The programme introduces year 13 [and sometimes year 12] students to the roles and responsibilities of police and gives them insight into what a police career would be like, as well as earning up to 26 NCEA level 3 credits.

UCOL Te Pūkenga director of secondary and tertiary Hayden Robinson said 2024 will be the first year the programme is offered through UCOL in Wairarapa after being available at the Manawatu campus for the past four years, and at Whanganui for three.

Some schools across Wairarapa already offer the programme but being available through UCOL gives students from any secondary school with a genuine interest in a career with the police an opportunity to participate.

The programme gives students “a much clearer understanding of the New Zealand police force and the different careers it can offer. Graduates can make better and more informed decisions about following this pathway,” Robinson said.

“On completion of the Police Pathways programme, ākonga [learners] will gain the pre-recruitment certificate from New Zealand Police, which is valid for two years. This is an advantage over other applicants beginning the recruitment process, who are required to complete this as an online course in their own time, and which they also need to pay for themselves.”

Currently, 48 schools and 25 education providers participate in the Police Pathways Programme nationwide.

Wairarapa’s Sergeant Roger Newton is involved with the programme in the region and said it is beneficial in a number of ways.

“It’s engaging with kids in a positive light, building relationships with young people, and supporting them through this programme to maybe one day join Police,” he said.

As part of the programme, Newton has taken students to Wellington to visit a number of locations, including the Royal New Zealand Police College, the NZ Police Museum in Porirua, the Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham, and the 105 Non-Emergency Communications Centre in Kapiti.

A bit closer to home, students are given a tour of the Masterton Police Station and get to meet staff from different units, including frontline police officers, Criminal Investigation Branch [CIB] staff, and prevention teams.

“There are up to 30 different career pathways you can take in Police that also include sworn or non-sworn positions,” he said.

If a student decides not to pursue a career in the police, the programme gives students transferable skills such as report-writing, conducting formal interviews, and face-to-face communication.

“So much communication these days, especially by young people, is behind a screen – in policing you still need to have that interpersonal communication,” Newton said.

Any students wishing to participate in the Police Pathways Programme in 2024 can reach out to their school’s career advisor or UCOL Wairarapa for further information on the application process.

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