Students build a trailer and bach, learning both skills and knowledge for future employment

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Students swapped paper and pen for hammer and nails to create two sheds, a trailer and plenty of job opportunities.
The Build a Bach and Build Trailer programmes are giving Hāwera High School students the knowledge to create and the experience for future employment.

Western Institute of Technology and Taranaki (Witt) director of trade training, primary and creative industries encompassing hospitality, Daniel Fuemana says programmes based in Hāwera eliminates the travel barrier for students.

"It makes it easier for the students as they can get the opportunities without having to travel great distances."

Build a Bach gives students NCEA level 2 credits and is a collaboration between Hāwera High School, South Taranaki District Council and Witt.

This year students Josh Proffit and Cade Sparks, both 16, built two sheds. Cade says the programme helped him understand his career options.

"I heard about the programme last year and I thought it would be beneficial to take part in it. I've learned a lot."

Josh says the programme was rewarding.

"It was very beneficial and seeing the finished product makes it so much better."

Tutor Stephen Sharpe says the two students worked hard on the programme.

"They've done really well and can be proud of themselves. Through the programme, they have learned how to use tools and work efficiently in a building site environment. By taking part in a programme like this, students are given a taster of the field and they can decide whether it is something they want to pursue as a career."

Josh and Cade built the sheds on-site, giving their peers the opportunity to see the buildings come to life, says principal Rachel Williams.

"The students are seeing the work progress and may be inspired to take part in the programme themselves as they're seeing firsthand what the students gain."

Daniel says it's beneficial for students to receive hands-on experience.

"It allows them to build something they can be proud of and opens up the door for further employment opportunities."

"Next year students will build a 180sq m three-bedroom house. The programme will change to be called Hanga Whare. We are also in discussion with local iwi for this project. It will be completed by trade academy students in conjunction with the level 3 carpentry programme."

The level 3 Build a Trailer programme is a collaboration between Hāwera High School, South Taranaki council, Witt and Engineering Taranaki Consortium. It is sponsored by Excel, Steel and Tube, Croucher and Crowder and Katere Coatings.

Tutor Mark Hudson says the students worked on the trailer at Excel in Hāwera.

"It opens their eyes to what is available for them and gives them the opportunity to have a taster of this field. A mix of theory, practical work and work experience give them result opportunities. It's been a lot of hard work but the pay-off is these students have been given opportunities that will help them in the future."

The trailer will be auctioned off at the Hāwera Christmas Parade, with proceeds going towards a yet-to-be-decided local charity.

South Taranaki district mayor Phil Nixon says the programmes are fantastic.

"I think it's an awesome project. A lot of students learn hands-on, which is a fantastic way of learning. These projects are a great partnership between all parties involved and I look forward to seeing how it grows in the future."

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