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PowerUp Your Knowledge And Skills

PowerUp Your Knowledge And Skills

If you’ve been figuring out what your skills are and what you want to do, you may find you need to upskill or retrain and there are plenty of excellent options here in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

You May Need To Upskill Or Retrain

Upskilling means learning further skills to help you progress in your current job or career.

Retraining is learning new skills to change the direction of your career.

Do Your Research

If you are looking to upskill or retrain to improve your employment opportunities, it’s worth doing some research to ensure it’s what employers value before you commit. Check that it’s the right level of qualification – for some roles a certificate might be sufficient, others might require a diploma or degree.

Some of the ways you can do this are:

  • Talk to friends or colleagues who are in roles you are interested in and ask what skills and qualifications helped them get there.
  • Talk to employers – either your own, or those in the area you’d like to move into. You can do this by connecting on LinkedIn, going to networking events, or sending a proactive email.
  • Get in touch with a recruitment consultant and ask what employers are really looking for in the area you want to get into – and check that there is growing demand for the type of role you’re looking at.
  • Do a scan of job ads for the type of job you’d like and see what qualifications they require.

There are a few things to consider when choosing what to study:

  • The amount of time you have
  • Your financial position
  • Your location
  • Transport options
  • Your learning style

All these are circumstances that might affect the study path which is realistic for you.

The good news is that there are heaps of different and valuable options.

Part-time, full-time, online, short courses, hands-on, theory-based, technical…there is something out there that is the right fit for you.

Study Options

It could be worth doing some free, introductory courses before you invest in a full qualification or programme of study. There are lots of free, online courses (called MOOCs – ‘massive open online courses’) through the likes of EdX (University of Canterbury offers some EdX programmes), Coursera, FutureLearn and Udacity, among others. You can also add these courses to your CV and LinkedIn profile to show that you are actively developing your skills.

There are 10 Qualification Levels in Aotearoa.

Qualification Levels:

Level 1 - 6 Certificates
Level 5 -7  Diplomas
Level 7 Bachelor's Degree, Graduate Diplomas and Certificates
Level 8 Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates, Bachelors and Honours Degree
Level 9 Master's Degree
Level 10 Doctoral Degree


Generally, Universities offer degrees and postgraduate certificates and diplomas at Levels 7 to 10; Institutes of Skills & Technology, Wānanga and Private Training Establishments offer diplomas and certificates at Levels 1 to 6, and some degree programmes and vocational (work-related) degrees; and Industry Training Organisations offer apprenticeships, which lead to Level 4 New Zealand Certificates.

Shorter online courses often don’t come with a qualification, or if it’s an international course it might not be formally recognised in NZ – but this doesn’t mean they’re not valuable. They are becoming more common and more recognised by employers as an endorsement of your skills and interest in an area. They are perfect if you can only study at night after putting the kids to bed or can only spend a couple of days a week dedicated to learning. But if you are upskilling for employment, do your research and make sure the qualification you invest in is recognised and valued by employers.

Providers In Ōtautahi Christchurch

Canterbury has 3 University options:


Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Tai Poutini

Private Training Providers (PTEs)There are over 100 PTEs in Canterbury, explore the full list. has lots of great information so you can find the right study path and Power Up your direction.

Ministry of Social Development, Work & Income:

Find out what services Work and Income can offer to help you find work and when you start a new job. Find job opportunities, support with job searching, short course and apprenticeship information, as well as financial support.