High demand for practitioners with a Level 6 massage qualification has resulted in a collaboration between Wintec and Toi Ohomai, which has doubled enrolment by putting learners at the centre.
Wintec Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance Director, Greg Smith says the collaboration was developed to remove the barriers to higher study for learners who typically gain employment or go into business after achieving their Level 5 Diploma in Massage qualification, making it difficult to continue their study.
“The focus of this partnership is to allow people from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty to continue to earn while they study the advanced Level 6 Diploma in Remedial Massage and maintain their work/life commitments while advancing their career.”
“There’s demand for qualified remedial massage therapists so we’ve changed the way we deliver our Wintec Level 6 massage course to enable massage practitioners to continue to upskill. The collaboration with Toi Ohomai means we have extended our net across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region to reach more people.”
Wintec academic and programme coordinator for massage, Amy Pearce, has worked with the Sport Science and Human Performance team to redevelop the delivery of the Level 6 massage course delivery to make it more accessible.
“We’ve reshaped the existing course to work with remote learners, so it is delivered mainly online and in a more time-effective manner. The Level 6 Diploma in Remedial Massage is now more accessible through a series of blended learning modules that includes online and face to face learning, practical supervision in the students’ home region and some block sessions at Wintec.”
Wintec is one of only a few NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) approved Level 6 Diploma in Remedial Massage providers in New Zealand, and the collaboration has made it possible for Toi Ohomai to deliver Level 6 to the Bay of Plenty community.
Jeni Fountain, Faculty Dean, Health Education and Environment at Toi Ohomai says, “giving people the opportunity and flexibility to earn while they learn and gain an education that is more directly relevant to the changing needs of the workplace is important”.
Toi Ohomai Academic Lead, Sport, Ruth Naidoo says their students have been asking about the Level 6 qualification for a few years but until now, it has not been accessible to them.
“We’re excited to be able to welcome our massage students back to study at Level 6, and we’re supporting them in their enrolment with Wintec. There is a growing demand for massage therapists and an overall greater awareness from the public of the health benefits, which may be a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further upskilling puts graduates in a favourable position in this growth industry.”
Wintec and Toi Ohomai are part of Te Pūkenga New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology network which formed a year ago to create a unified Aotearoa-wide organisation where relevant qualifications respond to the changing needs of the workplace and learning fits around people. Te Pūkenga is now New Zealand’s largest tertiary educator.
The Wintec and Toi Ohomai team involved in this initiative agree it demonstrates the ability for Te Pūkenga subsidiaries to work together to deliver programmes that create accessibility for their learners.
“We knew there would be interest, but we weren’t expecting to double our enrolment numbers. The strong uptake is evidence there is demand and we are looking forward to continuing this opportunity in 2022,” adds Smith.
The Diploma in Remedial Massage (Level 6) leads to further career opportunities in remedial massage and wellness therapy, and relaxation massage including working independently, in multi-disciplinary clinic, or with sports teams on injury and recovery.