Young builder from Wainuiomata shows value of commitment

Issue: Volume 94, Number 12

Posted: 13 July 2015
Reference #: 1H9crX

Young Hutt Valley builder Sean Ryan’s pathway through school and study has led him to a job he enjoys so much, he says it doesn’t even feel like work.

Sean, 20, works full-time for Kiwi Construction. He is also completing his Level 4 National Certificate in Carpentry at the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec).

The former Wainuiomata High School student’s love of building was first sparked by a family project.

“I helped my granddad build a deck,” Sean says. “And in Year 12 when I started enjoying subjects like graphics and architecture I realised that building was what I wanted to do.”

From then on, Sean knew the direction he wanted his career to go and took school subjects to support this.

In Year 13, Sean was offered a place at the Wellington Trades Academy, which meant he could incorporate the practical component he loved most, with his classroom learning, by attending the site at the Wellington Regional School of Construction four days a week with one day a week in class.

Learning in a Trades Academy gives students a chance to learn work skills while still at school. It also allows them to earn sector-related credits which can contribute to a Vocational Pathways Award, which in Sean’s case is for Construction and Infrastructure.

Sean’s passion for his work and commitment to achieving meant that as well as reaching NCEA Level 3 in Year 13, he also received a Hutt City Council Centennial scholarship and Wellington Trades Academy top student prize scholarship so he could study at WelTec full-time.

Sean completed his Certificate in Carpentry Level 3 and straight away got a job doing commercial building. From there he joined Kiwi Construction, where he has been part of a team building houses.

And now, he is studying for his Level 4 National Certificate – which takes a lot of commitment outside work after a tough day on the job.

Sean’s WelTec carpentry tutor, Tana Phillips, is proud of what Sean is achieving: “Sean is one that really stood out – from seeing him as a young kid and while still enrolled at secondary school coming into a Level 2 certificate and then progressing through and now doing Level 4 while working, it is impressive.”

Sean’s advice to other young people keen to end up in the construction industry would be to follow a similar path to his. “Do a trades course through a Trades Academy if you can, it really helps get you started.”

Sean’s boss at Kiwi Construction, Callan Brouwer, agrees. He noticed a big difference having an employee who had had hands-on experience early on.

“It’s more about their work ethic and attitude,” he says. “That’s what I look for when I’m hiring.

“If they’ve done the Trades Academy course it shows they must be keen, instead of wasting time with people who aren’t really interested in progressing in a construction career.”

Arthur Graves, the Ministry of Education’s Group Manager for Youth Guarantee says of Trades Academies: “Learning in a Trades Academy gives students real life skills and qualifications, and while using Vocational Pathways, young people can choose their study options and see how it relates to future job or career options.

“Students can get relevant qualifications and a Vocational Pathway which will set them up for their next steps, whether it’s into tertiary study, industry training or employment.”

Reminder of end of consultation period on Vocational Pathways (notified in emails and notices in June).

Consultation material and information related to the refined Levels 1 and 2 Vocational Pathways, and Level 3 development(external link)

Consultation for the refined Levels 1 and 2 Vocational Pathways will close this week on the 15th July, 2015.

Feedback can be provided using the forms found on the webpage.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 7:09 pm, 13 July 2015

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