Groups excited by potential of learning hub

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Central Otago’s learning hub will be open late next week, providing a sneak peak at the opportunities it will offer.

The Learning Hub, a collaboration between Otago Polytechnic (Central Campus), Central Otago Reap and Alexandra Community House, will be officially opened during a ceremony at Central Stories on December 11.

The hub concept was put forward by the groups after the town’s information centre was relocated from Central Stories to the Unichem Alexandra Pharmacy.

Central Otago District Council called for expressions of interest from groups wanting to use the vacant space and selected the Learning Hub as its preferred option.

Central Otago Reap manager Bernice Lepper said the Learning Hub would provide opportunities for people to gain confidence in digital, employment related and personal skills to increase confidence and be work-ready in the ever-changing environment.

‘‘With a central location and more flexible hours, individual programmes will be possible to meet the needs of the learners.’’

She said it was also hoped a range of tutors and groups would use the area to share their knowledge and passion with others.

‘‘Central Otago Reap believes learning makes the difference in people’s lives and this learning hub provides another [opportunity] for members of our community to develop and grow,’’ she said.

‘‘We are really excited to be working with Otago Polytechnic Cromwell Campus and Alexandra Community House, to be developing this community hub in the middle of Alexandra.’’

Otago Polytechnic Cromwell campus manager Kelly Gay said the hub would provide support and access for all learners.

It also encourages learners to engage with education providers and remove barriers for people wanting to access more learning opportunities.

He said the concept would provide training opportunities for people who have had their career or plans affected by Covid-19.

Overall, the hub would give Otago Polytechnic a closer relationship with Alexandra and surrounding communities, he said.

Alexandra Community House manager Carole Gillions said the hub would provide much needed additional space for informal gatherings and pop-up opportunities.

She said the concept would provide Community House groups another place to connect with the community.

People are welcome to attend the opening at noon on December 11 to see how the new space and learning facility could benefit them.

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