Thu 19 Oct 2017

Cheyenne nails it

Cheyenne Robins is something of a rarity for the annual build a bach project at WITT.

In the four years the Taranaki Futures initiated project has been in operation, providing school students with a shortcut to a building apprenticeship, she is just the second female to enrol.

“I would have a class full of girls if I could,” tutor Chris Gibson says.

“They are focused and goal oriented. Cheyenne came late to this programme and she immediately brought a good dynamic to the class.”

A total of nine students are involved in the 2017 project and are working and in class at WITT five days a week. They come from Waitara High, New Plymouth Boys High, Spotswood College, Inglewood and Hawera high schools.

Cheyenne, 16, is a Waitara High School student with a goal of becoming a carpenter.

The Tikorangi born student found woodwork at school was her favourite subject and after impressing her teachers she enrolled on a gateway programme run by the BCITO then a Level 3 carpentry introduction course through G and H Training.

By July it was apparent a place on the build a bach programme would be better suited for Cheyenne and she joined the team.

“I didn’t know a lot when I came, so I wanted to do the course and get the knowledge,” she said,

“Now I look at the house we are building and think: I did that.”

Cheyenne’s aim is to get an apprenticeship, and Chris Gibson believes she has the right attitude.

He was keen to see her take advantage of some of the other training courses available at WITT next year to give her a real head start – and this week Cheyenne enrolled through the Māori and Pasifika Trade Training (MPTT) programme to study for a Level 3 National Certificate in Carpentry Skills.

The two bedroom house being built on the WITT campus is on schedule for a November completion and, like its predecessors, it will be put up for sale.

Former WITT students Dorothy and Chris Andrews bought the 2016 bach for $160,000 and had it moved to Tarata Rd, east of Inglewood.

Picture: Cheyenne Robins, and the house she is helping to build.