In a bid to aid the region through Covid-19, UCOL has teamed up with the Whanganui, Manawatū and Wairarapa chambers of commerce to offer free qualifications to improve the capabilities of local businesses.
The chamber scholarships are available for UCOL's diploma in business, graduate diploma programmes in project management, business information systems, ICT and operations and production management.
Whanganui Chamber of Commerce members who enrol in one of the programmes between November 23 and December 18 will receive a full scholarship to cover all programme fees.
The scholarships are only available to chamber members and their employees. There is a cap of 200 scholarships on offer.
They have been created in recognition of the challenges the current economic situation has created for local businesses in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Wairarapa and Horowhenua (which can be accessed through the Manawatū Chamber of Commerce).
The local chamber network sustains and nurtures regional businesses, and forms the backbone of local economies.
Whanganui Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sue Stuart said UCOL had presented businesses with a generous offer.
"This initiative will support growing business capability in our region and removes any potential cost barrier for employers and their staff. We are excited to offer this opportunity to our members."
"UCOL recognises the challenges facing small businesses and our regional industries," UCOL's acting chief executive Dr Linda Sissons said.
"UCOL is offering the 100 per cent scholarship to chamber members as an initiative to assist in the 'survive, revive and thrive goals' of the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Recovery Taskforce."
The scholarships are targeted at courses that will develop and grow the existing talent and skills in our rohe, ensuring our workforce is future fit and able to meet the recruitment demands being created by large projects coming to our region.
"The value of lifelong learning cannot be understated, but at the same time UCOL recognises that professional development can be a high cost, particularly for small businesses," Sissons said.
"The courses included have been specifically selected to ensure they address the needs of industry, will allow employees to work whilst studying, and ensure that at the end of their training, participants receive a qualification that supports their personal growth."