NorthTec and TANZ eCampus are launching a fees-free online learning initiative, to help Northlanders upskill or reskill if they have been impacted by the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The two institutions already deliver fully online learning for students to study in their own homes and at their own pace, but have responded to predictions that unemployment will rise sharply as the country deals with the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, threatening difficult times ahead for many people who might find themselves needing to upskill or learn new skills to support a move into different industries and jobs.

The initiative was aimed at helping people upskill or learn new skills in order to help the region's economy recover from the effects of the pandemic. Learners could also access Chromebook devices from NorthTec to help them study from home.

"We recognise that this is a very difficult time for many people, and that there will be job losses across the region. While people are unable to work, and forced to stay home during the lockdown, this initiative will help them retrain through quality education with no fees attached," Mr Jackson said.

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"TANZ eCampus is a fully online platform, and is staffed by trained and experienced tutors who support learners throughout their studies. It's a great way to study if you are unable to leave home, and with no fees it will be a really productive way for people to use their time while the country is in this unprecedented situation."

The NorthTec eCampus portfolio of programmes can be found at https://www.northtec.ac.nz/programmes/ecampus, along with details on how to enquire and apply.

Meanwhile, in association with the initiative, NorthTec has secured Chromebooks that can be used to support students who do not have a device for study from home. Learners who require a Chromebook will be given details when they enrol.

NorthTec can also provide details of a range of data support schemes that are available to support learning if required; again, details can be provided to students at the point of enrolment.