Bridging the pathway from school to work

Published on

It’s not every day you get your name on an official plaque, but for five secondary school students who are part of the WITT Te Pūkenga Build a Bridge project they've had their handiwork acknowledged for the community to see at the newly opened footbridge in the PG Nops Scenic Reserve in Inglewood.

In its third year, the Build a Bridge project gives Taranaki secondary students a taste of the building and infrastructure industry laying the foundation for further study or the chance to go straight into employment.

“Over the years we’ve had students employed by Fulton Hogan, Whitakers and ShedBoss off the back of the course,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Short Course Manager Jan Kivell.

Under the guidance of their WITT Te Pūkenga Tutors Dave Hudson and Reg Russell, students Dylan Barham - Waitara High School, Kasey Gooch - New Plymouth Girls High School, Jordan Law-James - Spotswood College, Dustin Horscroft – Coastal Taranaki, Bronson Pierce – Francis Douglas Memorial College meet every Thursday where they put their learning into practice and build bridges which are later installed at sites around New Plymouth. The PG Nops bridge is the first of three bridges the students are building for the community with the other two planned for the Waitara Orchard Reserve (Barclay Park) and an access bridge over the Wairau Stream for the Ōākura Water Treatment Plant.

NPDC Kōhanga Moa Ward Councillor Marie Pearce spoke at the ceremonial opening about the important role the bridge plays for the local community linking up the town’s walkways and open spaces.

“The new footbridge is an asset for one of our treasured community spaces,” she says.

Build a Bridge is a partnership of NPDC, NZIHT/WITT Te Pūkenga, Fulton Hogan, Whitaker Civil Engineering, Downer Group, WSP and Taranaki Futures.

The first Build a Bridge project in 2021 was the Camden Street footbridge over the Huatoki River and last year two footbridges were replaced on the Mangati Walkway in Bell Block and the Waimea Stream Reserve in New Plymouth.

Pictured: (L-R): WITT Te Pūkenga Tutor Dave Hudson, Dustin Horscroft, Dylan Barham, Kasey Gooch, Jordan Law-James and WITT Te Pūkenga Tutor Reg Russell. Bronson Pierce absent.

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki is part of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology Learn more

Learn with purpose

Explore Te Pukenga

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Copyright © 2024 Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki