Partnership enables upskilling closer to home



24 February 2020

Starting this year, laboratory technician students can complete their studies and have practical hands on experience while living here in Rotorua.

Rotorua Lakes Council has partnered with Real World Education to provide laboratory technician students the opportunity to gain experience through placement at Council’s Environmental Laboratory.

The aim of the partnership is to reduce barriers to gaining further education for local students by providing a study option closer to home. For local students this will reduce study costs and allow them to maintain connections with friends and whānau while gaining the skills and knowledge needed to develop their profession.

Real World Education (RWE) is a government funded educational provider specialising in programmes for people starting or advancing laboratory careers. Students enrolled in RWE’s laboratory technician programmes are required to complete theoretical and practical studies. Previously the practical aspect of the programme has not been available in Rotorua.

The partnership began with connections made under Pūtake Nui - a collaborative approach by local and central government, non-government organisations, hapū, businesses and communities within Rotorua, focused on making positive and sustainable changes that work for rangatahi.

Council’s Laboratory Supervisor, Adam Yeabsley, says he is excited for these students to learn about the role that the Environmental Laboratory plays in looking after the health of water in their hometown.

“For those young people who previously thought this kind of study was out of reach, it opens another door for them to create a better future for themselves. We’re looking forward to working with these students and the fresh perspective that they will bring to the table”.

Paul Demchick, Director of Real World Education explains the partnership will make study more accessible for budding laboratory technicians who have commitments within Rotorua.

"We are delighted to now have excellent placement options for people in Rotorua that do not require them to travel out of town. This has previously been a barrier for a number of students and we are pleased to have found a local solution.

“We are selective about which laboratories qualify as partnering laboratories and are confident that this lab will give participants an excellent training experience," he says.

Through the Laboratory Technician Comprehensive Programme participants receive the New Zealand Certificate in Applied Science (Level 4) and, upon completion, the New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science (Level 6). Students can also go on to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Analytical Science Programme.

For more information about completing Laboratory Technician Training, email or visit

Background information:

Real World Education

Students can sign up for 2020 Laboratory Technician study now, with new intakes opening each month. There are approximately 25 spots for domestic participants in all programmes (combined) throughout the entire country.

The course is eligible for ‘fees free’ funding and scholarships are available.

Laboratory Technicians analyse samples such as water, foods, drinks, pharmaceutics, environmental samples, and mining samples, to find out the chemical and bacteria content. The kind of sample analysed depends on the area of work.

Rotorua Lakes Council’s Environmental Laboratory

Staff in Council’s Environmental Laboratory test for nutrients and pathogens present in drinking water, wastewater, storm water, and sludge.

Council’s Environmental Laboratory is located at the Waste Water Treatment Plant on Te Ngae Road, next to Puarenga Park.


Pūtake-Nui initiated from the Rotorua Working Together Forum.

There are four areas of focus within Pūtake-Nui; Rangatahi well-being, Act early act together, Youth centric, and Rangatahi with aspirations. Their goal is to make positive change for the rangatahi of Rotorua, from a citywide approach.

For more information about Pūtake Nui please contact Gill Brocas on 0225346546 or

Other youth opportunities with Rotorua Lakes Council

Council offers youth internships across a variety of roles in our regulatory, policy and processes departments to increase youth awareness and knowledge of local government’s role in the community. To learn more about internships and when they are available, contact


Page reviewed: 24 Feb 2020 12:20pm