Welcome to the West Coast Trades Academy


The West Coast Trades Academy is an exciting and very different training option for high school students on the West Coast, whether you are interested in hospitality or early childhood education, through to engineering and construction.

It means students can now work towards a career, while staying at school completing their National Certificate in Education Achievement (NCEA).

It’s free for all West Coast students.

Check out the 2017 Programme Guide here!

Talk to your school Trades Academy co-ordinator or careers’ advisor about joining the West Coast Trades Academy or apply online today.



About WCTA

The West Coast Trades Academy (WCTA) is a partnership between all of the West Coast high schools and area schools and tertiary institutions. Greymouth High School coordinates the Academy, and Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP) and Whenua Iti Outdoors (WIO) are the Tertiary Partners for WCTA.

Trades academies are part of the Government’s youth initiatives. They focus on providing more choices for young New Zealanders and giving them greater opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and talents through trades and technology programmes that are jointly provided by schools and tertiary education organisations.

Benefits of the Trades Academy

  • Start training for a career while studying at school
  • No fees
  • Keep up school friendships and continue with core subjects and extra-curricular activities while at the Trades Academy
  • Gain workplace skills, develop independence and responsibility for your learning, self-esteem and communication skills
  • Be ready for work with workplace skills, training, NCEA Level 2 and a National Certificate in your choice of trade.
  • Additional expenses such as transport will be covered by the Trades Academy
  • Individual learning plans will ensure your achievement is monitored by your school and the Trades Academy
  • The Trades Academy’s manager and school co-ordinators are on-hand to support you
Take a look at what students are saying about the Trades Academy

Student Eligibility

The trades academy is open to year 11, 12 and 13 students at partners schools.  Trades Academy students will continue to attend their school, taking their usual subject options, while one day a week they will attend the trades academy programme at school or Tai Poutini Polytechnic.

Trades Academy students must make  a two-year (minimum) commitment to the achievement of NCEA Level 2 and an Industry National Certificate. Students will also miss some ordinary school classes and may need to commit extra time to keep up with their learning and achievement in other subject areas.

Schools are responsible for enrolling and recommending students for the trades academy.  Each school will have a coordinator (or contact person) responsible for trades academy students.

How it works

Fees, transport and expenses
  • There are no fees for the Trades Academy.
  • Transport costs to bring students to the open day will also be covered.
  • Information on additional expenses required for some of the courses (such as work boots and overalls) will be provided by the West Coast Trades Academy.
Student care

While at school students will be under the usual pastoral care provisions in their school’s policies. When attending part of their course at the polytechnic, another school or in a workplace, students will need to comply with the code of behaviour and health and safety requirements of the provider delivering that part of the programme.

Information for parents & caregivers

The document outlines information such as details about the academy, the schools involved, who can enrol, how the academy works, student care and training options.

Download our Parent & Caregivers information sheet (PDF)


Apply Online

Enrolments for 2017 programmes are now open.

The following form is for First Year students only.

(If you will be a Second or Third Year student, you only need to complete the short form to select your course for 2017 and to update any details that you think may have changed. Follow the link above to the shorter form)

In 2017 for the first time, the West Coast Trades Academy will be offering Residential School Holiday Programmes to West Coast Students. Please see further information in the 2017 Programme Guide, although we are still in the planning phase, we invite expressions of interest and we will be back in touch once details are finalised – please click here!

First Year students please note that you will need the following information with you before you start filling in the form:
– Medical conditions
– Doctor’s name and phone number
– Parent or caregiver’s contact details (home, work, mobile phone numbers and email address)

Click here to open the form in a new window if you are using a mobile device or having trouble with the form below

Fill out my online form.


The West Coast Trades Academy Training Scholarship is sponsored by Tai Poutini Polytechnic.  The scholarship will provide two fee-free places for West Coast Trades Academy students to attend Tai Poutini Polytechnic in 2017.

Scholarships will be awarded to students who have:

  • demonstrated a high level of achievement in their Trades Academy Programme
  • are committed to developing a career in their trade area and
  • wish to pursue further training and education.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic tutors, school representatives and the West Coast Trades Academy will be responsible for selecting successful scholarship candidates.

Scholarship Application

The scholarship application must be completed online by Friday 14 October 2016.

Scholarship application form

Scholarships will be awarded at the end of year prize giving to be held on Thursday 3rd November.


  1. Applications must be received by 14 October 2016.
  2. Students must commence their study in 2017.
  3. Training must be undertaken on the West Coast at Tai Poutini Polytechnic.
  4. Successful candidates will allow their names and photos to be published by the West Coast Trades Academy and local media.


Latest updates and newsletters

West Coast Trades Academy students on film

High School students from Karamea to South Westland have had starring roles in a new video promoting the West Coast Trades Academy.

The video had...