Get a head start on your career with OSTC

Do you like the idea of learning by doing? Are you keen to gain real-world skills that will help you find employment?

The Otago Secondary-Tertiary College (OSTC) is our trades academy. We offer practical, career-focused learning for students in Years 11-13 who want to get a head start on life after school. You’ll develop hands-on skills and experience to help you prepare for further study, on-the-job training and employment.

How does it work?

Your programme will be one subject of your NCEA. You’ll spend one or two days a week at OSTC and the rest of the week at school as normal.

OSTC has a campus in Dunedin and one in Cromwell.

What are the benefits?
  • You’ll gain credits towards NCEA and course credits from Otago Polytechnic.
  • You’ll develop real-world experience and knowledge that will help you on your career path after you finish school.
  • You’ll enjoy practical, hands-on learning in a focused, fun and interactive environment.
  • You can test out a career without spending valuable time and money once you’ve left school.
  • You can stay at school and continue school activities such as music or sports.
How is it paid for?

In most instances, study at OSTC will be fully funded, with no cost to you or secondary school. However, please note that OSTC is only funded for a limited number of places. Additional places may be offered, however your school will be charged a fee. Please clarify any costs with your school.

What are the entry criteria?
  • You must be a Year 11-13 secondary school student attending a high school anywhere in Otago.
  • You must be motivated.
  • You need to be keen to pursue a career pathway related to the programme.
  • Your school must support your application.
  • Ideally you should have achieved NCEA Level 1 including English and Maths or be working towards it (however exceptions may be made in some circumstances).

At this stage, you don't need to be fully-vaccinated or present a My Vaccine Pass to attend Otago Secondary-Tertiary College learning on the Otago Polytechnic campus. 

How do I apply?

Talk to your school's careers advisor and they will guide you through the application process.

Study areas

Social & Community Services

 pie social and community services

Sport, Exercise and Health (Level 3)

Police Pathway (Level 3) 

Construction and Infrastructure

pie construction and infrstructure

Building and Construction (Level 2)
Dunedin and Cromwell

Building and Construction (Level 3)

Manufacturing and Technology

pie manufacturing and technology

Automotive (Motor Industry) (Level 2)
Dunedin and Cromwell

Automotive (Motor Industry) (Level 3)

Service Industries

pie services industries

Hospitality (Level 2)

Salon Skills (Level 2)

Beauty Therapy (Level 2)
Dunedin and Cromwell

Manaaki Tauira (Level 2)

Cookery (Level 3)
Dunedin and Cromwell

Business and Tourism 
(Level 3) 

Primary Industries

pie primary industries

Apologies, no courses are currently available


Circle NicolaHansen

Liz Gilmore

Education Liaison
Officer (Dunedin)

027 4761286


Nicola Hansen

Education Liaison
Administrator (Cromwell)