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Trades Training

Empowerment, Education, Enterprise

About the Academy


Empowerment, Education, Enterprise

Oceania Career Academy is New Zealand’s first Pacific-owned and led Private Training Establishment (PTE) for Trades. It builds on the Trades at School (TAS) Programme offered in schools since 2009.

OCA is working to achieve more young Pacific people in higher paid employment. We deliver NZQA Levels 1-4 vocational training for youths (predominantly Pacific) with a student-focused, career-focused and industry-driven programme.

We are NZQA accredited and use education as a vehicle to develop youth through employment skills training, bridging students from secondary school into skilled industry employment and higher education.

We have a proven track record acting as a “connector” between students and families, from schools and tertiary institutions through to employers providing skilled, well paid work.

General Youth Employee Trends

  • South Auckland has lower youth employment in general
  • South Auckland also has a young and diverse population, and significant projected employment growth – there is high potential for increased matching of employers with potential employees
  • Employers identify “attitude” as a significant barrier to employing youth
  • There are shared goals between young people and employers (to be valued, respected and to make a contribution) but these are expressed differently and often not recognised but the other party
  • Key points of tension along the “employment journey” – where young people and employers are disconnected and may “drop out” – creates further problems in the future
  • The current state of recruitment has a cyclic effect of demotivating young people and frustrating employers who need to manage time and money. Employers potentially miss out on great hires because the process can make it hard for young people to successfully navigate these screening processes
  • Each workplace has its own set of cultural norms and expectations. Young people also bring a range of different and complex norms into the workplace. These different sets of norms and expectations can often lead to conflict or misunderstanding. This is particularly true for South Auckland where there are high levels of cultural diversity

OCA trains and then matches up Pacific youth with employers that are looking for keen workers who have the potential to learn trade-specific skills.

Employment Outcomes

From the more than 300 students that have come through OCA’s programmes, the vast majority are either in employment or undertaking further study.  

  • 300+ students have come through OCA’s programmes since 2015
  • 71% of students are in employment
  • 17% of students are undertaking further study
  • 11% of students are either looking for work, unemployed, have moved elsewhere or are at home on medical grounds

Feedback on the OCA Programme

What students have said:

“This course is helping me feel what it’s like in the real world. I have learnt heaps and would like to get a building career after this.”

What NZQA EER Evaluators have said:

“The organisation is effectively led and managed by a Board and management team with complementary strengths and capabilities. There is a strong commitment to the organisation’s well-articulated vision, strategy and values which has provided a good foundation for the organisation. As the decisions regarding future pathways and programmes are made and implemented, evidence of the impact and value of the outcomes is likely to inform and strengthen the future sustainability of the organization.”

What employers have said:

“The three estimating trainees are doing really well. They are already producing basic truss estimate take-offs and have just passed their ‘MiTek 101 introduction to engineering and NZ building regulations’ exam. The minimum mark to pass is 70% and the three scored 85% - 88%. This is excellent given they have only been in the role for 2 weeks!”


Download our EER Report

Our Staff

Management Team

Our dedicated management team includes Trades at School Founder John Kotoisuva and General Manager Anthony Tu'itahi. 

View our Management Team

Mentors and Tutors

Our dedicated mentor and tutor team includes Delana Tagicakibau, Stephen Bambury, Ian Katoa, Tu Nu'uali'itia and Travis Fenton. 

View our Mentors and Tutors


Our Board is made up of a talented group of professionals working in health, education and the corporate sectors and includes Tevita Funaki (Chair), John Patterson, Tapuai Fa'amalua Tipi, Kenina Court and Peter Sherwin. 

View our Board 

A big thank you to our supporters

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