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Supporting construction workers to upskill

By UCOL on Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A photograph of UCOL's Freemasons Scholarship recipients for 2017

Clinton Murphy from Isles Construction Ltd and Joshua Forrest from Kynoch Construction LTD were recently named this year’s recipients of Freemasons Wilson Lewis Scholarships at a ceremony held at UCOL.

The Freemasons Wilson Lewis Scholarship is a joint initiative between UCOL, Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47, and Registered Master Builders Association designed to help qualified tradespeople in the construction industry upskill and broaden their careers.

This year, two scholarships were presented, after one was presented in 2016.

Recipients receive $6,000 towards their fees to study the New Zealand Diploma in Business, the New Zealand Diploma in Construction, or the New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology at UCOL.

Mr Forrest says, “This scholarship will go a long way and open many doors for me in the construction industry.”

Darren Shadbolt, one of the members of the judging panel, said it was hard to choose two recipients out of the six finalists.

“We would have liked to have given awards to all of the applicants. That’s what level they were at.”

UCOL Executive Director Student Success Dr Nicky Van der Bergh says UCOL takes great pride in collaborating with stakeholders to create these opportunities for students.

“It’s not just students that benefit; local businesses and the wider Manawatu and Whanganui regions reap the rewards of having highly skilled workers.  We all know how important quality tradespeople are to our economy and our communities, so it’s great that we’re able to work with stakeholders to help the construction industry flourish.”

Nick Walsh of Colspec construction, who received the inaugural Freemasons Wilson Lewis Scholarship, was a guest speaker at the ceremony. 

Nick, who has almost finished his first year of the New Zealand Diploma in Construction, says he is deeply appreciative of the scholarship.

“This scholarship has allowed me to focus on study without having to worry about the finances.”

“The papers I’ve studied have been informative and challenging, and have opened me up to other parts of the industry.”