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Message from Mark Flowers, Wintec Chief Executive

This year marks a special occasion. It's been 90 years since the first classes were taught out of our, now, heritage building, Wintec House. Since then, the nature of our country's workforce has evolved. Back in the 1920s, for example, primary industries such as forestry and farming employed many people. Forty five years later, manufacturing joined in to dominate the market. Now, in 2014, the workforce of earlier years is unrecognisable. We now need more specialised skills and knowledge and qualifications to build successful economies, not only in New Zealand, but around the world.

For the past 90 years, thousands of work-ready graduates have entered our community with industry-relevant skills learnt in innovative ways that reflect the 'real-world' requirements. Many of these graduates have gone on to be key employers and leaders within the region.

Alongside our evolving environment, the perception of vocational training is changing. People and organisations are appreciating more and more its importance to our social and economic well-being. And while technical and vocational training is still an integral part of who we are, our wide range of degree and postgraduate programmes continue to gain popularity, setting people up for a career in industries such as business, management, IT, education and media arts.

No matter what our programme level, working closely with employers, industry and community organisations to respond to the skills required has always been key to our success. Being responsive to industry is one thing that will never change.

On an international scale, our global connections have grown substantially over the years. Our expertise in export education and our local and global alliances enables us to deliver internationally-relevant quality education services wherever they're needed in the world.

Our journey has been one of transformation which has grown into the experienced, well-known and trusted organisation that I am proud to lead.

Our success, of course, has been the result of the hard work of our staff and support of the community. My sincere thanks goes to our Waikato community, our staff, our Employer Partnership Groups, our partners, our alumni, our suppliers and the many other businesses and organisations we work closely with. Your expertise, insight and guidance are vital to our success and your support is highly valued and greatly appreciated.

This is a year to celebrate. To acknowledge where we've come from, what we've achieved and where we're going. I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

Mark Flowers, Wintec Chief Executive

Our History

Technical and vocational training has been an integral part of Hamilton, and the Waikato since the 1920s.

In 1924 the Hamilton Technical College was established, with its own board and governors and was based in our, now, heritage building Wintec House, on the corner of Anglesea and Ward Streets in central Hamilton. This building was completed and opened in 1924.

The technical college evolved out of the Hamilton Manual Training Centre, also known as the Hamilton Technical Day School, which mainly conducted practical classes for a small number of day pupils and 1000 primary school pupils.

From 1924, the renamed Hamilton Technical College flourished as a combined secondary, night and trade training school. Its first principal was Whampoa Fraser, a noted educationalist of his time.

Over the next four decades the changing needs of industry and employers led to the Waikato Technical Institute opening on the same site in 1968. The establishment of technical institutes to train people with skills to better meet the needs of employers saw a number of regional colleges turn into tertiary technicalinstitutes across New Zealand.

The two organisations co-existed on the site for some time, covering both secondary and tertiary technical training. Later, the city site was to transform wholly into a tertiary education provider as the Waikato Technical Institute, in line with government policy of the day. The secondary provision, in part, was picked up through the establishment of Fraser High School – named after the first technical college principal, Whampoa Fraser.

On 12 February 1968 the institute held its first classes with 30 full-time tutors, several part-time tutors, and a total staff of 40. This was the first venture into technical education solely at a tertiary level. In its first month of operation, it enrolled just over 2000 students.

A few names changes came into play over the years, including in 1987 when the institute was renamed The Waikato Polytechnic, then in 2001 it became the Waikato Institute of Technology, and in 2003, the Wintec brand was adopted.

Over the past 90 years, what hasn't changed is our commitment to providing technical and vocational training and driving the education and development of a skilled workforce. Today we are a modern institute of technology that regionally, nationally and internationally works with employers, industry and communities to understand and respond to the skills which are required in today's workforce.

Did you know?

• We have 20,000 students (full and part-time)
• We employ 840 staff
• We offer 10 degree programmes, 35 diplomas and 12 postgraduate qualifications
• We have six campuses (in Hamilton and the greater Waikato region)
• 25% of our students are Maori and Pasifika
• We have 1,000 international students from 53 countries

Check out a book, put together by our journalism and feature writing students, to mark the 90 year celebrations.

Alumni / Stay Connected

Graduating from Wintec automatically makes you part of a vibrant, diverse community – the Wintec Alumni Circle.

As well as providing a platform to stay in touch with fellow alumni and staff, The Wintec Alumni Circle provides support to graduates with professional networking, career advice and development, access to grants and scholarships, promotion of graduate successes and discounts for products and services.

Celebrate your Wintec experience and expand your Circle.

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