Mon 11 Oct 2021

Build a Bridge

The Build a Bridge course is a Taranaki talent pipeline incentive to give young people an introduction into the civil industry while still at school.

With the support of industry, WITT is able to provide students with the opportunity to build a footbridge for their community, while learning valuable basic skills for a career in civil infrastructure and earn Level 2 NCEA credits.

The course is mainly practical with students having to construct the 20m long wooden platform onto the steel framework onsite at WITT. The bridge is then transported to its final destination where students complete the build by attaching the handrails.

Jan Kivell, NZIHT Programme Manager said, “This year we had eight students from five of our Taranaki schools”, (Inglewood High, Francis Douglas, Spotswood, Te Kura and Coastal).  “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of students, respectful and keen and watching their confidence grow as the build progressed was the best feeling and I felt proud to be a part of their journey”.

“I would also like to acknowledge all the industry support this year. The collaboration between WITT, Fulton Hogan, WSP and NPDC was fantastic and demonstrated what can happen when different organisations come together to achieve a common goal”.  Jan also mentioned how Whitaker Civil Engineering and Downer partnered with WITT by assisting to find tutors.

William Faoagali from Francis Douglas Memorial College thanked all the companies involved in the project. Sharing his appreciation “for helping us find a good pathway that suits us best and uses our abilities”. He explained, “I also found it really good to all come together from different backgrounds and yet find common ground in this course to achieve our goals, not only for ourselves but for one another. I enjoyed all the laughter and memories made, it really showed that in a work environment like civil engineering and infrastructure that no matter what culture, religion or colour you are we are all willing to accept one another!”

The opening for the newly completed Camden Street Bridge is at 10.15am on Wednesday 27 October for those that would like to attend.