A Rotorua high schooler has been given a welcome boost to his future career.
Rotorua Boys' High School's Taipari Walker won a Vocational Excellence Award for his efforts in Rotorua's Introduction to Police Studies Course.
He received $2000 to go towards police training and the award was announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins today.
Boys' High was one of 344 high schools around the country to nominate students for the award.
Hipkins said the Introduction to Police Studies Course at Rotorua had been so successful that similar courses were rolled out to three high schools in Wellington.
Students who successfully finish the course gain 25 NCEA Level 3 Credits, and are endorsed with the Unitec Distance Learning Certificate - a requirement for recruits to complete before entering Police College.
"It's a great way for young people to get a taste of policing, while also preparing them for the recruitment process.
"The course has been a great way to allow young people to gain knowledge and interest in this exciting pathway," Hipkins said.
More than 1800 new officers have been deployed all over the country, including 146 new constables to the Bay of Plenty Police District, since the Coalition Government took office.
"We know we need more frontline police officers, just like we need more people working in the trades to meet the skills gap," Hipkins said.
He said vocational education, trades training and on-the-job training had been allowed to drift for too long.
Hipkins hoped the award sent a message about the value the Government placed on vocational education.