Building students swinging more than a hammer

Residential building company Classic Builders is partnering with Tauranga Boys College to help deliver a new industry-related programme for Year 13 students keen to embark on a career within the construction industry.

Mr Mangan, Tauranga Boys’ College principal, says the school identified a gap between finishing education and entering the building industry.

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

Classic Builders co-director Matthew Lagerberg says while the school is providing the teaching and building environment for the programme, Classic Builders is acting in a strong support role.

“Our industry needs young people to join it and the building industry is something I am passionate about. I want to encourage and positively influence the next generation of young tradespeople in the Bay of Plenty,” says Mr Lagerberg.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to provide industry experiences and advice to help students determine their own suitability for a career within a building or building-related field,” he says. “I also attended Tauranga Boys College and am on the Titans Sports Trust board of trustees. I view this as a way of giving back to the school, the boys and the community.”

Classic Builders is supporting this initiative through various avenues, one of which is sending staff to visit the classroom and share knowledge and experiences.

“We’ve already had our national health and safety officer spending time with the boys, outlining her role and the importance of health and safety when on a construction site,” says Mr Lagerberg.

Tauranga Boys’ College technology teacher, Nathan Bradley, who has significant building experience is teaching the Wood Related Trades Programme (Level 3). The 10-month programme is now under way 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 provide the experience of constructing a small building from the ground-up through to completion. Four cabins will be sold at the end of the year.

The students and Mr Bradley are primarily based on their own secured worksite next to Susan Devoy Squash Courts, Devonport Road, working out of a container that is utilised as a typical building site office. To support the practical learning, training with various machinery and theory BCITO unit standards is combined with construction site visits, support from Classic Builders head office and other trade-related experiences. Industry experts are regularly invited to talk to the boys outlining the expectations they will face in the industry.

Mr Mangan views this partnership as a very beneficial arrangement for both Tauranga Boys’ College and Classic Builders.

“This new programme will enable students to gain significant knowledge, beyond ‘swinging the hammer’, to the opportunities within the construction industry. The additional resources available through our partnership with Classic Builders, such as Health and Safety, Sales Systems and Commercial Development, will significantly enhance the programme for those boys involved.

“Tauranga Boys’ College is very appreciative of Classic Builders support in this initiative,” says Mr Mangan.

The programme also combines with the Business Studies Department of the school to compliment with marketing and business studies, so boys have the opportunity to learn to promote and sell the product.