not at all. Think about it, these guys own 3 very large dropzones.Two of them do 100+ tandems a day in the tourist market. They produce camera fliers on this course and then send them out for work around dropzones around the world for three months to work for free. A person with a 'product' like that in the business world is going to have a lot of contacts. Those students that go and work for free for three months as a packing bitch or a van driver, editor, fuel person are going to show they stuck it out and be in line for a camer position.
The people who own the school are known by dropzones owners right around the world.
Either way you look at it the course owners have a product, and it is a very popular product. At the end of the day 100+ new people to the sport do jump number one and three-five months later they are sent to dropzones around the world for three months work placement in exchange for thirty jumps. Those newbies now have a foot in the door of a place for employment.
Considering their education is 50 lectures to do with the commercial aspects of skydiving, 200 skydives and for 90% of the students, half the course is paid by the government student loan, it is a damn good idea.
I can tell you as a fact, I did the course and the first 200 skydives I did have not cost me a single cent. I never graduated, i left with issues with the directors, that are now resolved and for the last nine years I have worked in the skydiving industry in numerous roles.
Love it or hate it but if you are a kiwi, and aussie or from the uk your government will give you a student loan for 50% of the cost of the course and then the NZ government will pay the other 50% of the course if you are a kiwi. End of the day you have 200 skydives, a damn good knowledge of how the commercial side of skydiving works and a dropzone that will give you a chance to make yourself show them that you are worthy of a job.
The guys who were on my first course, a couple of them have over 8000 tandems, two of them have represented nz at the worlds and been a crucial part of starting dropzones in numerous countries.
The "diploma' means shit, sure.... but the course itself is a great way to get 200 jupms from zero jumps, an affordable way and the course directors make it their business for you to get employeed at the end of it so they can keep getting the government funding they need.
The course was started because nine out of ten Tandem masters in new zealand commercial dropzones were from overseas and NZ needed new zealand native workers.NZ is the tourist adventure capital of the world. You can go to taupo and every day it is jumpable there is three dropzones sharing one field and they all have 100-200 tandems EACH a day. Down in queenstown the dropzone the course owns has a retail shop in the main town for the selling tandem jumps.
The course is a fantastic business. It just so happen that when there is something like this in such a small country that competition turns political, the one reason i know of for that and nobody will probably admit is cause Kirsty made the course public the year that it was said no more private business's could do something like this and get it subsidised by the government. Brilliant if you ask me.
No, I am not a supporter of the school, I was on the first course, I left on bad terms with them, but I do know that and can admit that what they have on offer is a huge step forward for some people who want to make a living out of it.
Sorry for the long reply, I just dont think it can be said any shorter as I want to help you understand.
(This post was edited by bigway on Oct 12, 2009, 9:10 AM)