Otago Polytechnic

National Certificate in Motor Industry (Entry Skills) (Level 2)



One year, full-time

On campus with on-site workshop practicals and off-site work experience

up to start date
Prepare for employment in the automotive industry!

People who work in the automotive industry repair, maintain, modify and sell vehicles and vehicle parts. Employment opportunities for engineers and mechanics are constantly increasing as the number of vehicles on the road continues to grow so it’s a great career path to choose.

This highly practical programme will give you the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to advance into Level 3 and 4 apprenticeship-based qualifications. Courses include engine servicing, workshop engineering and vehicle electrics.  

You will train in our workshop for two days per week and be placed in a local garage for work experience for another two days per week. This will mean that you have the skills and experience required by the industry who are supporting this programme.   

This Youth Guarantee programme is available to 16-19 year olds* who have been thinking about leaving school or who have left school and are not sure how to enter higher education or employment. If you are eligible for the Youth Guarantee Scheme, you will not have to pay any fees and will have access to pastoral care and learner support.   

*You may undertake this Youth Guarantee programme if you are 15 years old at the time that the programme starts and you have an early leaving exemption from school.

Entry requirements
  • This is a Youth Guarantee programme. 

    To qualify, you must:

    • Be a domestic student
    • Be a 16-19 year old OR be 15 years of age at the time when you commence the programme AND have an early leaving exemption from your school 
    • Not already hold a Level 3 qualification in any subject
    • Have been thinking about leaving school and getting a job OR prefer to be working towards a career rather than staying at school OR have left school and are not sure how to enter higher education or employment
    • Want to learn practical skills
    • Be more motivated in a non-school setting
    • Be prepared to enrol in a full-time programme.
  • There are no academic entry requirements. However, we do prefer students under 20 to have NCEA Level 1 literacy and numeracy.
Youth Guarantee fees and allowances

The Youth Guarantee Fees Scheme will cover the tuition fees, material and equipment costs of your programme of study. 18-19 year olds enrolled in fees-free Youth Guarantee qualifications will now be able to access the course-related costs part of the student loan and student allowances if they meet the eligibility criteria. Those under 18 years old will not be able to access any part of the student loans. Funding for travel is available (conditions apply). Please visit the Studylink website for full details. We recommend that you read this carefully. 

Selection process
  • As part of the selection procedure, you will need to attend an interview with the Polytechnic.
Additional documentation 

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity, academic records, proof of residency (where appropriate) and curriculum vitae.

You will study

To be awarded the National Certificate in Motor Industry (Entry Skills) (Level 2), you must successfully complete all of the courses below. 

Course title Level OP credit
Administration and Communication 2 8
Engine Servicing 1 2 20
Underbody Service 1 2 13
Vehicle Electrics 1 2 15
Workshop Safety 2 4
Workshop Engineering 2 12
Vehicle Electrics 2 8
Programme total   80
Course outlines 

Administration and Communication

Receive an introduction to automotive workplace expectations in regard to administration and communication requirements. Learn about time management, technical terms used in the motor industry, stock and plant security and how to complete accurate customer and work records.

Engine Servicing 1

Learn how to carry out basic automotive engine servicing including pre-tune up checks, removing and replacing diesel fuel injectors, inspecting cooling system conditions and reassembling and starting an engine.

Underbody Service 1

Gain the skills required to carry out basic automotive underbody service procedures. Amongst other things, you will learn how to identify motor vehicle systems, their locations, and functions, remove and replace automotive road wheels, and carry out a lubrication service.

Vehicle electrics 1 and 2

Gain the fundamental electrical knowledge and servicing skills required for working with ignition systems and electrical circuits in an automotive workplace. This will include learning how to describe factors that cause vehicle technology to change and why new technologies are being developed by the motor industry. It will also include learning how to find faults and repair automotive electrical circuits.

Workshop Safety

Learn the occupational safety and health requirements with specific reference to the automotive field. Learn about security in the workplace, personal safety requirements and how to administer first aid and undertake emergency procedures if required. You will need to successfully complete the written assessment before you can enter the workshop and attempt practical work.

Workshop Engineering

Gain the fundamental engineering and welding skills required for working in an automotive workplace. Amongst other things, you will learn how to gas/braze/MIG weld mild steel plate and pipe, assemble and set-up an oxy-acetylene gas welding plant, and how to select and use the correct fasteners for automotive applications. 

Your workload

You will be expected to complete up to 12 hours of directed learning at the Polytechnic and between 6-7 hours of self-directed study per week. In addition, you will also complete up to 24 hours of work experience during the programme.

Directed learning will take the form of face-to-face lectures, tutorials, demonstrations and practical workshop sessions. You will be engaged in some group work so you can develop the skill of working with others.

Self-directed learning will include the completion of theory assignments and projects. Some of the theoretical components will be completed online. Self-paced study enables you to study at a time that best suits you. 

Further study options

Upon successful completion of this National Certificate, you could further your skills by progressing into the Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) or various other National Certificates in Motor Industry. 

Programme specific risks

In the Otago Polytechnic workshop and during your work experience, there is the risk of injury through lifting, welding, welding flashes, the use of tools, motor vehicles, fixed and portable motors, heavy equipment and any other equipment relevant to the automotive industry. There is also the hazard posed by fumes from welding and chemicals which you may be allergic to and the possibility of Occupational Overuse Syndrome through computer use.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

Apply Now