Te Wananga o Aotearoa wants a cap on its enrollment numbers lifted so it can respond to the economic crisis.
Chief executive Bentham Ohia says Friday's job summit showed the need for experienced training providers.
The wananga's roots are in work training schemes of the early 1980s and Waatea News reports it still has a lot of specialist expertise on tap.
Mr Ohia says there's a need to employ some of the strategies adopted back then.
He says Te Wananga o Aotearoa has approval to take up to 21,000 students this year, but, at current enrollment rates, there will be greater demand than places available.