New manager for Polytechnic’s West Coast Faculty

Putting people into jobs, enticing new students to the West Coast and working with business to deliver the education outcomes the region needs are three key goals of Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s (TPP’s) new West Coast General Manager Teresa Schwellnus.

Dr Schwellnus, who took on the role at the beginning of August, says she is energised about the opportunities on the West Coast. Emigrating from South Africa in 2000, where she was a Professor in Private Law, Dr Schwellnus has since held senior roles at the University of Canterbury’s College of Education and the Ara Institute of Canterbury.

“It is exciting for me to actually be getting a chance to do a broader role. I am passionate about getting people into jobs. I believe in ‘education for employment’, that is, seeing real employment outcomes for students.

“I also enjoy the regional development aspect of this role. TPP is not only an employer in the region,we are also a big provider of skilled staff to local businesses. We need to be working as part of the wider business economy to make sure we are meeting the needs of the West Coast.

“I drive around the region and see this as the land of opportunity – we have plenty of everything and TPP has a role to play to unleash the opportunities of the West Coast.”
Dr Schwellnus is responsible for managing and growing tertiary initiatives on the West Coast.. Meeting the needs of community partners to benefit the West Coast economy, students and employers is also a key area of focus.

Dr Schwellnus says her goals include making TPP the first institute of choice for employment training on the West Coast, ensuring the training offered meets the needs of local business, and creating learning pathways that give young people a reason to stay.

“If the students can’t see employment at the end of the line, and employers can’t see the value of the training, then we have missed the point,” she says.

TPP Acting Chief Executive Alex Cabrera says he is delighted to welcome a manager of Dr Schwellnus’ calibre to the faculty.

Dr Schwellnus has extensive experience in education, business development and partnerships and she already has some great plans for our West Coast programmes.