New building programme pushing the envelope

Tauranga Boys' College Classic Builders Cabins.

Tauranga Boys’ College Classic Builders Cabins.

Tauranga Boys’ College and Classic Builders Tauranga inaugural building pathway programme for students is paying off with completion of transportable cabins now for sale, students finding employment and apprenticeships, plus an extension of the programme.

Mr Mangan, Tauranga Boys’ College principal, says the Wood-Related Trade Programme was a huge hit for its Year 13 students this year.

“Our enthusiastic, dedicated building students spent the past four terms learning how to build four monopitch cabins in small teams of four on an authentic, supervised worksite.

“They not only achieved this but several students were offered a position in employment or an apprenticeship in a building-related trade as a direct result of the practical and theoretical experience received through this programme,” says Mr Mangan.

The 10-month programme began in 2016 with a core group of 15 students in teams of four spending two hours every day learning how to build small mono-pitch, transportable cabins.  The cabins provided the experience of constructing a small building from the ground-up through to completion.  Students also gained an understanding of industry expectations for further training or employment.

“We found our students were finishing school but finding it challenging to start careers in building, electrical, plumbing and so on.  While this programme is not an apprenticeship, it is a pathway into the industry,” he says.

Students were provided upskilling in construction, basic tool kit and personal safety gear and gained experience in the building process, exposing them to the broad range of opportunities within the building industry. This was achieved through Level 3 BCITO theory credits, industry interaction with specialist visitors and site visits.

Mr Mangan was thrilled to see students take pride in building the cabins and was impressed by their progress and achievements throughout the year.

“Because of the success of this programme and the development of student skill sets, personal character and valuable industry experience within a real building site, the level 2 programme is to be developed to incorporate a similiar building focus.  The level 2 projects will focus on fencing and decks,” says Mr Mangan.

Local residential builders for over 20 years, Classic Builders, has supported this initiative through various avenues, one of which is sending staff to visit the classroom and share knowledge and experiences.

Matthew Lagerberg, Classic Builders co-director says students gain building insights and learn to work through on-site challenges.

“This is a great opportunity for young men especially with the significant shortage of tradespeople.  It’s great to hear about students who have already moved into industry-related apprenticeships,” says Lagerberg.

Teacher in charge of the Building Related Trades programme who has significant building experience, Mr Nathan Bradley, says that a number of students left the course throughout the year to enter the trades.

“Work experience through the year is offered to see if the student is suited to the work, and sometimes this helps the boy identify other trade areas that may be a better fit,” says Mr Bradley.

Milestones achieved throughout the year included several official visitors to the site such as Council inspectors, Classic Builders health and safety inspector, building representatives and Tauranga Paslode engineer who showed the boys how to maintain the nail guns.   

Students have also benefited from off-site visits to Oregon Pre-nail plant, Firth Concrete Plant, NZ Windows and Joinery and have completed a workplace safety course.

A real highlight for students was when they hosted their first non-alcoholic roof shout to celebrate a significant step in construction.  Students show cased their handiwork to parents and supporters while guests enjoyed a barbeque.

The cabins are selling for $10,500 each via Classic Builders on TradeMe.

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