HomeNewsScholarships to help construction workers upskill

Scholarships to help construction workers upskill

By UCOL on Thursday, 19 November 2020

Freemasons Scholarship

Two experienced builders have been awarded scholarships to expand their skillsets and take their careers in the construction industry further.

Jack Aplin and Daniel Wilby each received Freemasons Willson Lewis Scholarships, a joint initiative between Manawatū Kilwinning Lodge No. 47 (part of Freemasons New Zealand), UCOL | Te Pūkenga, and Registered Master Builders. CEDA and Mitre 10 are also sponsors.

The scholarships are awarded to qualified tradespeople working in the Manawatū or Whanganui construction industry who want to further develop their skills. Recipients have the option of studying the New Zealand Diploma in Business, the New Zealand Diploma in Construction, or the New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology at UCOL | Te Pūkenga.

Jack Aplin started working as Project Manager at Gemini Pepper Construction in Whanganui earlier this year after a stint in Melbourne. Aplin has overseen a number of refurbishment projects ranging from aged care facilities to stadiums.

He plans to use his scholarship to study the NZ Diploma in Construction, focusing on Quantity Surveying.

“My aim is to get really good at pricing. I’ve got the other areas - health and safety and carpentry - covered, so learning more about quantity surveying will assist me in my role. Having a qualification behind me will give me more confidence.”

In the long term, Aplin aspires to own and run a commercial construction business in his hometown of Whanganui.

Daniel Wilby is a Site Forman at Alexander Construction Central in Palmerston North. He returned to New Zealand in February after spending two years in the United Kingdom and 10 years in Sydney, where he worked on high-end housing and high-rise buildings.

Wilby plans to study the NZ Diploma in Construction, focusing on Construction Management.

Freemasons Scholarship recipients

“That’s the path I’m on with work currently, so it makes sense to get a qualification. Hopefully I’m be able to put what I learn into effect at work.”

Andrew Neilson, Manawatū Kilwinning Lodge Master, says the lodge is pleased to continue the legacy of its members who established the scholarships. Late lodge members and builders Jim Willson and Sam Lewis bequeathed the initial funds, while the late Malcolm Pettman set up the scholarships following the suggestion of Bob Isles.

“Our lodge has a proud tradition of charitable giving and support for academic excellence in the Manawatū. We see the Freemasons Willson Lewis Scholarships as a valuable addition to these efforts, particularly in rewarding those in the trades,” says Neilson.

Danny Reilly, UCOL | Te Pūkenga Executive Dean of Engineering and Applied Technology says he is proud that UCOL | Te Pūkenga can provide the opportunity for Aplin and Wilby to progress their careers.

“Jack and Daniel both have very impressive resumes and have gained valuable experience working in big cities overseas. It’s great to see them return to their roots in Whanganui and Manawatū and step into higher roles. I trust that these scholarships will help them advance their careers and make them real assets to the local construction industry.”

This is the fifth year the Scholarships have been awarded, which is something Cameron Isles of Master Builders Manawatū is particularly proud of.

“On behalf of Master Builders, it’s really nice to see this event mark its five-year milestone. Both recipients this year were of a really high calibre and we look forward to seeing them progress their careers and move into leadership roles in the construction industry.”