Senior high school students in South Auckland are taking their first steps into a career in the construction industry with a new educational initiative backed by the private sector and government agencies.
Under the Ara Education Charitable Trust, with support from Auckland Airport, the Department of Social Development and a number of building partners, students from Aorere College, Mangere College, Manurewa High, Onehunga High School and Southern Cross Campus will renovate two houses. originally intended for landfill.
Officially launched today at the Auckland Airport compound construction site, over the next 6-12 months students will gain experience on tools in a range of building trades and valuable on-the-job experience real.
According to Sarah Redmond, Schools Engagement Manager at Ara Education Charitable Trust, bridging the gap between school and work is important because many students struggle to make the transition smoothly.
“We teach them what it will be like in real life and help them in areas such as getting to work on time, handling and using power tools, always wearing the correct personal protective equipment, working in a team and also make safe choices on the spot. When they finish school and enter employment, they are prepared and ready,” Ms Redmond said.
Ara Education Charitable Trust, which operates as part of the Ara Business and Employment Hub at Auckland Airport, aims to connect students directly to skilled private sector career paths, apprenticeships and program support Mana in Mahi from Work & Income. Bringing together the private sector, government and schools is an innovative and unique approach to successfully bridging the gap between schools and further education and skilled jobs.
“This program is unique because it is a collaboration between schools, various government organizations and wonderful companies, who join forces to create change and great opportunities for our young students.
“We also identified the need to empower more young women to work in the construction industry, which is currently a very male-dominated space. Through this program, we will also focus on supporting young Pasifika women by not only equipping them with certain skills, but really opening them up to the wide range of great jobs associated with the industry,” said Ms. Redmond.
Auckland Airport’s chief executive, Adrian Littlewood, said it was important that the local community benefited positively from the presence of major employers and associated businesses on its doorstep.
“The success of our community relies on local people who have meaningful job opportunities close to home. Ara Business and Employment Hub was created with the aim of making it easier for South Aucklanders to get the training and support needed to get their foot in the door of one of the hundreds of businesses in and around from the airport grounds, but we’re particularly proud to be contributing to the housing renovation project,” Mr Littlewood said.
“Leaving school can be quite a daunting prospect for students, so by ensuring they not only have the basic tools-based experience, but also the real work exposure to back it up, we believe it will really make a difference in their first steps in a construction career.
Construction and demolition cause about half of Auckland’s waste, far exceeding household waste. At the same time, there is a huge growth in property developments, with each house demolition producing around 25 tonnes of waste.
Auckland council’s senior waste planning adviser, Mark Roberts, said creating alternatives to landfill for construction and demolition waste is essential if we are to achieve the city’s zero waste goal. Auckland council by 2040.
“The creation of the Ara Skills yard to divert homes from landfill to new life as well as a training platform for young people is a fantastic step and we congratulate them on their success,” said Mr Roberts.
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