Students who complete one of UCOL Whanganui's new trades training courses are "pretty much guaranteed" job opportunities.

Campus manager Bronwyn Paul said there was a real commercial need for the infrastructure works and commercial road transport courses starting on August 20.

"Danny Reilly, our built environment head of school, has worked closely with Whanganui and Partners and 100% SWEET to get the courses off the ground," Paul said.

"They've looked at what the need is in this region and students who graduate are pretty much guaranteed of a really good opportunity of getting into work straight away."

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The New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport will teach students about loading vehicles, yard duties, basic driving skills and health and safety requirements. Graduates could get work as loaders or yard staff and with further study could become drivers or dispatchers.

The New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Works will give an introduction to the team skills requirements of the industry, working with infrastructure tools and equipment and health and safety. There are career opportunities in civil works, rural contracting, surfacing operations and underground utilities.

"A lot of it is practical experience that's embedded into the programme," Paul said.

"Students will get a really good basic understanding of the industries and they will be work ready at the end of it.

"The course is not just about learning the job, it's learning to be employable and the soft skills that go with it. We make sure our students are really supported, no matter what level they come in at."

Both courses are free programmes, with a minimum of 14 students each needed to make the courses viable. The courses start on August 20 and finish in early November.

"It's a really good time for them to get into a job with summer work starting," Paul said.

There was a cooking skills shortage in Whanganui and a New Zealand Certificate in Cookery course would also start in August, Paul said.

The new courses will be launched at the UCOL Atrium, Rutland St, at 12 noon on Monday, August 6. People are invited to go along to find out more and hear from industry experts about training and job opportunities in road transport, infrastructure works and cookery.