WECA's 2019-2020 AGM was held on Thursday, November 12th, at WIntec Rotokauri. It was great to see some of members there and catch up on the whirlwind year that was!
WECA Chair, Keith Fraser, and WECA Manager, Mary Jensen, presented their respective reports and shared some of the highlights of 2020. Wintec graduate students from the Bachelor of Engineering Technology and Graduate Diploma also presented posters of their work.
Highlights of the year include success in being one of the 32 industry groups throughout New Zealand to receive a $20k Ministry of Education grant for a series of events in 2020 and 2021. To date, we have also placed seven Mana in Mahi candidates at at WECA members companies with excellent retention. Longstanding WECA member, Pam Roa, was also appointed as one of the six industry representitives for the Regional Skills Leadership Group for the Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics sector in the Waikato.
WECA Chair's Report
"2020 has presented various challenges and opportunities, and I’m very pleased to report on another successful year for the WECA organisation despite the significant disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately it’s not possible to review the last year without mentioning the impact of the pandemic on WECA activities, our members and our community. During the first lockdown phase the WECA team took on the role of facilitating the WECA network to support each other by way of Zoom calls to keep in touch and share experiences and knowledge. Following lockdown, the WECA team undertook a member survey and commenced lobbying the government to consider the impact of the situation on the engineering sector and urging positive responses to support employers, based on feedback from our members.
Despite these disruptions WECA continued with regular business, successfully running the Evolocity programme from launch through to hosting the Waikato-Bay of Plenty regional finals at KartSport in Hamilton. While this is a cost-neutral activity for WECA, the student survey responses really tell the story as to how important these programmes are for introducing young people to the world of Engineering. WECA members have also placed seven Mana in Mahi candidates in full time employment so far, with further opportunities to continue this relationship with the Ministry of Social Development going forward. The Futureforce magazine was published again with a significant section featuring WECA members and the local engineering industry generally. The annual Engineering in Action event was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19, however we have reserved our place for the 2021 event..."
Keith Fraser, WECA ChairBack to News