Students given better opportunity to build engineering career with launch of new unit standards

August 11, 2020

Six new unit standards in mechanical engineering have just been launched by Competenz as part of our new Mechanical Engineering Project Suite.

For the first time, students will be offered school-based Level 3 mechanical engineering unit standards, creating a solid pathway into mechanical engineering apprenticeships and other training programmes.

Competenz CEO Fiona Kingsford says the new unit standards have been specifically designed for school students and the schools’ environment, and their introduction will go some way to encouraging young people to explore training opportunities in the industry; an industry that is experiencing skills shortages. It is estimated there will be more than 7,500 job openings across New Zealand in the mechanical engineering sector in the next five years.

“The unit standards have been developed in consultation with technology teachers and industry to ensure they are relevant and what industry needs now and in the future. Previously, students had an ‘engineering taster’ at Level 2, but now with the Level 3 pathway they can go into more depth and gain experience, knowledge and skills that are relevant to industry.

“The new standards also will give students a better understanding of the trade and the industry, and hopefully result in an uptake of apprenticeship opportunities when they leave school,” says Ms Kingsford.

The six new unit standards are supported with a suite of resources for high school technology teachers also developed by Competenz, with theory-based drawing, a machining project and a fabrication project at both level 2 and 3.

“Teachers have the autonomy to deliver and assess these standards themselves as they have been pre-moderated, which makes the process very simple. Technology teachers can use the projects and resources provided or develop their own projects and resources for use within the unit standards. It’s a very flexible approach,” adds Ms Kingsford.  

Resources to support the standards include student and teacher guidebooks, project exemplars, material lists, a drawing pack, step-by-step instructions, model answers and assessment guides.

Teachers can download the unit standards and resources at and watch this short video explaining how the new resources work.