Meet our team: Jim McKendry
Programme managers need to be creative and flexible, he says, in order to serve a wide range of different learners and get them where they need to go.
“Our job is to pave that pathway. So we will map out those learner journeys and understand them, and then bridge any trenches, get rid of barriers, and smooth the way. We are like the Ministry of Works for learning.”
When he’s not paving the way at work, Jim plays guitar in two bands, and is a regular at the gym. He says he is always encouraging friends and family to keep up the exercise habit because it’s “like Kiwisaver for your body – you put in the investment now and you will get the benefits when you are still fit and strong and mobile at age 65”. (Jim loves a good metaphor.)
Jim says Te Mahi Ako is in a unique position to take all its knowledge from 30 years as an industry training organisation, and apply that as an independent education provider.
“We’re free from the ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ mantra, and we’ve got the freedom to use all that know-how in new and creative ways. So we can go out and do that and be a market-leader in work-based learning in New Zealand.”