Achievement NZ Pathways Carterton programme manager Sue Partridge. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND
Pathways programme an asset to Wairarapa community

Emily Ireland

Knowing how to read is an important skill most of us take for granted.

But for some Wairarapa people, following a recipe, taking a driving test, or fulfilling their life aspirations is out of the question because they don’t have that skill.

Now, Achievement NZ, formerly known as Trade and Commerce, is expanding in Wairarapa to help people improve their literacy and numeracy skills.

Achievement NZ has been providing tertiary programmes in Masterton for sveral years and is now offering its Pathways programme in Carterton.

Achievement NZ business development manager Mike Hay said the initiative had been much requested in Carterton, and “thanks to the generosity of the Carterton Baptist Church”, they have a suitable venue to offer their Pathways community programme.

“The programme can help people get into tertiary courses and into employment,” he said.

“We can focus on driver licence theory, technology skills, budgeting, and help with working with community and government agencies.

“It’s all based on individual goals.

“We even have participants who are looking to upskill so they can help their children and grandchildren with their homework.”

Programme manager Sue Partridge is an experienced teacher who moved to Carterton late last year.

She said the Carterton programme was an asset for the community, especially as the programme itself was free for learners.

Participants can attend for up to 20 hours per week with up to 300 hours of support available.

This week will be the third week in the programme for some Carterton learners.

“Everybody who is on the course is super keen and they like the one-to-one feel,” Sue said.

“It’s open to people aged 16 years or over who are looking to upskill themselves.

“This includes those who may have left school and are looking to improve their literacy and numeracy in their work, or people wanting to get into work, and improve their communication.”

Sue said Pathways was about “getting people’s skills up to scratch so they can improve themselves”.

“They may feel they have been classified as a failure, and because they haven’t got their credits, and they haven’t got their qualifications, they give up.

“This is about creating a safe environment where they feel comfortable to learn.”

It is recommended that learners attend for the full 20 hours a week to get maximum value from the programme, however hours are flexible.

Sue said learning literacy and numeracy “gives you confidence that you can navigate this world and recognise what is happening around you”.

“The people who come here want more for themselves.

“Just because you’ve been told in the past that you can’t do something, it doesn’t mean that will be your life forever.”

If you know someone who would benefit from Achievement NZ’s Pathways programme, talk to them to see if they are interested in upskilling themselves, and get in touch by free phone on 0800 905 509 or go to the Achievement NZ website at www.achievementnz.co.nz and register their interest.