Building a bright future

Issue: Volume 97, Number 5

Posted: 21 March 2018
Reference #: 1H9i3J

As growth in the construction industry continues, leaders look to tomorrow’s workforce to fill the demand for tradespeople.

New Zealand is currently experiencing a growing need for tradespeople. We require skilled workers in this area in order for our country to continue to grow and succeed.

Although schools work hard at communicating and providing opportunities for further study and on-job training for their students, there is still a particular need for more builders and other employees in the construction industry.  

In the four years after leaving school, around one in 10 school-leavers study construction-related subjects at a tertiary education provider or through workplace-based training. Schools will play a key role supporting opportunities for students to be part of the construction industry in the future.

Students interested in a career in the trades can be directed to pursue their passion through one of the many industry, government and learning institution partnerships available throughout the country. The following are a few of the many examples of successful partnerships in action.

Otago and Southland: Frankton Flats – Fulton Hogan Hub

Key stakeholders in the Frankton Flats and Queenstown areas have worked together to develop a pathway for students into the civil construction and infrastructure industries. Known as the Fulton Hogan Hub, the programme is a joint venture between:

  • construction company Fulton Hogan
  • Connexis – the industry training organisation for New Zealand’s infrastructure industries
  • Ministry of Education
  • Otago Secondary-Tertiary College, also known as the OSTC Trades Academy
  • Otago Polytechnic.

Fulton Hogan requires a significant semi-skilled and skilled workforce due to ongoing construction and development work commitments in the area.

The Hub is working with two local schools to trial gateway work placements as part of students’ personal learning plans (PLPs).

An ‘Educators Day Out’ proved to be very successful, resulting in a commitment to use the OSTC Trades Academy as a way to engage students and schools in multiple pathways.

Big River Homes Balclutha is also hosting dual-pathways delivery off-site with Otago Secondary Tertiary College’s Level 3 construction students. The session will be attended by South Otago High School students.

This experience was initiated as part of Youth Guarantee and worked to connect stakeholders to encourage partnership opportunities. The first industry placements coming out of this programme began in June 2017.

Wellington region - YOUth Inspire

A number of Hutt City organisations, including Hutt City Council, Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, Hutt Youth Workers Network, local employers, secondary schools, and industry, have formed a working group to establish connections between local tertiary and secondary education institutions, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics, industry training organisations (ITOs) and private training establishments.

The pipeline from education to employment is a key focus for this group, which for example has used the Licence to Work with regard to youth and driver licence testing.

Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu - Taranaki Futures

Taranaki Futures is a secondary-tertiary pathway project – a collaboration between secondary schools, the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT), other tertiary providers, ITOs, and employers all working together to develop programmes of relevance to the local region.

An example of the work being done by this group is the Build a Bach programme running at WITT. Build a Bach engages young people in a variety of trades and ultimately leads to the construction of a house. The house is then sold to fund another project the following year.

Build a Bach has run for four years and has been highly successful in creating employment opportunities for young people – prospective employers have been quick to contact students who have participated in the programme.

Hawke’s Bay - Eastern Institute of Technology and Hawke’s Bay Project Management

Local construction company Hawke’s Bay Project Management has partnered with the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), to provide school students with a pathway into the construction industry.

Mentored by the company’s owner, John Roil, a group of Year 13 students from local secondary schools work to build a one bedroom property. As a former teacher, builder, mentor and Hastings District Councillor, John says he sees the benefits brought to the Hawke’s Bay economy by a young, skilled workforce.

After construction, the buildings are then sold to the commercial sector.

In turn, the programme allows students to earn sector-related credits and makes their learning relevant to the industry, while also preparing them to enter the workforce.

For more information on connecting students with further study opportunities in the construction industry, the Ministry of Education’s Secondary Transitions operational team consists of a National team based in Wellington and principal advisors (secondary/tertiary) located around the country.  You can contact a regional principal advisor(external link) to discuss these opportunities.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 2:20 pm, 21 March 2018

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