Thu 9 Mar 2017

Back up the Truck

Taranaki’s highly successful Build a Bach project has put seven out of nine 2016 students into work – and enrolled a full complement of students for 2017.

And today the house they built in 2016 is being prepared for a move to a new site near Inglewood.

Students from Taranaki secondary schools get on the job building tuition at WITT through the project, run in conjunction with Taranaki Futures.

The new students have already seen what they have to follow - the two bedroom house constructed last year is being moved from WITT tomorrow to become a home on Tarata Rd, east of Inglewood..

WITT tutor Chris Gibson said he was excited by the traction the scheme was gaining and the continuing support it was receiving from businesses.

A raft of Taranaki businesses donates time, expertise and product to Build a Bach each year and proceeds from the sale of the completed buildings are reinvested in projects run by Taranaki Futures.

Chris Gibson said there were more candidates than places available this year, and that was not surprising given the fact that the pathway to from Build a Bach to work was now becoming a well-worn one.

“We have 15 students here and I already have Pepper Construction telling us he will take two of them on at the end of the year,” Gibson said.

“In fact, (Managing Director) Andrew Pepper sent one job applicant our way and told him to do the course at WITT first.”

Students enrol after going through an interview process through the Trades Training Academy at WITT, and for the first term they spend one day a week at WITT learning the basics of building. From term two they are at WITT five days a week.

Taranaki Futures General Manager Warwick Foy said the Build a Bach project continued to generate interest, loyalty and support in the community  because employers valued skills, work-readiness and practical experience.

“With the support of our families, schools, WITT staff and generous industry project partners, our young people achieve huge personal growth throughout the year. I congratulate them and the supportive new house owners, Dorothy and Chris. We look forward to the day when more Taranaki people gain the benefits of close educator and employer cooperation."

The 2016 bach at Inglewood will be the home for former WITT students Dorothy and Chris Andrews who bought it for $160,000.