People Potential has been operating for 25 years in Whangarei. The recent opening of two new classroom blocks in Keyte Street shows their commitment to the local community and a firm belief in a bright future.
This local family business, established by Sandra McKersey in 1991, has shown its capacity to endure huge changes in that time and its adaptability to the ever-changing landscape of tertiary education has meant People Potential has not just survived, but thrived.
Operating from its Keyte Street campus in Whangarei, this year also marks ten years of business in Kaikohe. It has an office in Dargaville and its sister company Education Action has branches in Papakura, Hamilton and West Auckland.
People Potential has grown from a tiny team in First Avenue to a company employing more than 80. Not only does it provide relevant qualifications, it is also a serious employer in its own right.
The business has proved sustainable because of some key factors. The first is the extraordinary group of people who work together. They have the same vision, the same core values and they bring their passion and their hearts to work on a daily basis. They share an implicit belief in the ability of their students to achieve, helping them to find success early and often.
They go well beyond their 'duty of care' to support students. The notion that “your hand is in my hand until we put it in someone else’s” is a matter of pride and, while it doesn’t work 100% of the time, it is certainly a philosophy that the team hold dear.
The People Potential Board of Directors has met monthly for years. Its commitment to sound governance from the time the business was quite small has meant that decisions are based on the collective thinking of creative and intelligent individuals who have reliable and accurate information at their fingertips. This approach has manifested itself in measured and careful growth, the provision of first class facilities and an excellent learning environment.
The Board has also made a commitment to the professional development of the team. While each individual brings his or her own set of skills and abilities, by the time they leave People Potential they have many more. And so many of them choose to stay! This year another eight staff celebrate their 10-year tenure of employment (an achievement acknowledged annually with a dinner and the presentation of travel vouchers).
The team at People Potential is its main resource. Over the years the experience and expertise that has accumulated is substantial and, because of the size of the team, People Potential now has experts in strategic planning, change management, data analysis, quality management, self assessment and a wide range of subject areas.
While the tutorial, support and management team are vital to the success of the business, it would mean nothing if it were not for the students. The business recognises that students have a choice and, because they choose to spend their time at People Potential, they deserve the very best that can be given. They deserve their learning to be taken seriously, to have tutors who understand their needs, and who are prepared and professional. They deserve every effort to ensure they complete their programme and qualifications.
The community from which its students come is very important. People Potential is generous with time, resources and energy and is involved in community organisations such as Blue Light, Sea Cleaners and Relay for Life but their most significant commitment is to driver licencing with the coordination of the Community Driver Mentor Programme.
People Potential has been awarded the industry Provider of the Year award and members of the team have been judged outstanding nationally too many times to list here. It has been found to be highly competent by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and has been awarded further contracts by the Tertiary Education Commission in a shrinking market. Adding new buildings, new team members and new qualifications confirms its place as an important part in the education sector and its confidence in Northland.