The Southern Institute of Technology’s (SIT) Queenstown Campus has appointed a new Campus Development Manager, local learning and development consultant, Nick Fifield.
Mr Fifield’s background is in the healthcare sector, but more recently, he has built up his own consultancy business around training and development. “My purpose and passion has always been in training, development and education,” he said.
In the newly created role, Mr Fifield will be focusing on curriculum development to service the needs of Queenstown and surrounds, and elevating the presence of SIT within the community, to enhance their position as a leading tertiary education provider, delivering contemporary solutions to the dynamic needs of the local workforce.
The move shows the institute’s long-term commitment to invest in their Queenstown campus and to put education at the forefront of Queenstown’s post-Covid recovery.
“Even before Covid, the way we worked and learned needed to change. The difference is, where previously we had 10 years to adapt to the change, we need to adapt now.”
Mr Fifield says for years there has been talk of how increasing Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is set to sweep away everything we traditionally know about work. He believes the answer is in adapting and re-framing how we see our education and work pathways.
A ‘career for life’ is already a thing of the past, and for those entering the workforce now, they may expect to change careers five to seven times during their lifetime, in comparison to their grandparents who perhaps worked for a single company their whole lives.
“Therefore, we will adapt more readily to economic, political and environmental changes, such as Covid, by engaging in continued education throughout our working lives,” he said.
“We are working on innovating a curriculum that’s fit for purpose, and provides the skills training required for this new frontier of work. It’s our aim to be at the heart of creative problem-solving in the digital age, and integrate these solutions into what SIT can offer its students.”
And already planning is well underway, with news that SIT’s New Media Arts and Business Faculty (NMAB) is going to offer programmes in Queenstown. Hamish Small, NMAB Head of Faculty, said, “We’re intending to expand our suite of programmes into SIT Queenstown campus by offering Screen Arts – Game Design, Animation and Film, and they’ll be available in multiple formats: from high school, on campus, through to blended (distance) delivery.”
“It’s creating more variety of what’s on offer at the campus, and in doing so, it’s a good opportunity to support a diversity of training to Queenstown’s population by delivering something that will assist further towards industry diversification within the Queenstown area,” said Mr Small.
Mr Fifield said SIT will continue to offer the applied training they’ve already established and are well-known for: Cookery, Hospitality, Beauty Therapy, IT and Carpentry.
“The future is in upskilling, improving and adapting, it is the way to thrive – by identifying genuinely transferable skills that will keep your working life mobile, viable and interesting.”
He is looking forward to building on the local connections he’s already established, “because we will be working closely with the community to ascertain their needs, so looking ahead, the local workforce can enjoy a varied working life, well-supported through learning at SIT.”