Evaluating the effectiveness of the plumbing and gas-fitting pre-trade programmes in New Zealand

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Wareham, Anthony J.C.
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Education
Unitec Institute of Technology
Miller, Melanie
Collins, Jennifer
Panko, Mary
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
pre-trade programmes
programme effectiveness
plumbing education
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Wareham, A. J. C. (2011). Evaluating the effectiveness of the plumbing and gas-fitting pre-trade programmes in New Zealand. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1913
This research explores issues relating to the situation in New Zealand whereby emerging technologies and the highly specialised nature of the work has transformed plumbing and gasfitting into complex trades which has led to a demand for apprentices of a higher standard than previously. This has resulted in a number of pre-trade programmes being established to allow school leavers to be introduced to the trades and select their future occupation before they leave school. The aim of this research was to use the qualitative methodology to examine the operations of three pre-trade programmes and evaluates their effectiveness in enabling school leavers to successfully integrate into the plumbing and gasfitting trades. In order to obtain the required data and obtain triangulation the study used three data gathering methods namely questionnaires, single semi-structured interviews, and focus groups. To achieve its aim this research project explores the experiences, perceptions and opinions of three participant groups. These are the managers of the pre-trade programmes involved, an apprentice group, some of whom participated in a pre-trade programme before entering a trade and others who did not and finally, a selection of employers who have employed apprentices, some of whom had, and some who had not, had pre-trade experience. The research revealed that there are significant differences within the three pre-trade programmes in that one of them serves as a profiling organisation linking potential trainees with potential employers, the second was a technical institute providing a pre-trade training programme while the third arranges for school leavers to gain work experience in a local firm. The findings also disclosed that although there were commonalities between the three programmes they also had their own unique aspects which resulted in them being effective in some aspects, but less so in others, and that most differences occurred in the type of pre-trade activities and the subsequent opportunities or otherwise that these pre-trade programmes created for those who took part. This study concludes that while these programmes are in the main successful in terms of what they set out to achieve, it suggests that some improvements could be included to improve programme effectiveness.
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