HomeNewsPartnership celebrated as secondary ākonga begin tertiary journey towards civil infrastructure careers

Partnership celebrated as secondary ākonga begin tertiary journey towards civil infrastructure careers

By UCOL on Friday, 21 July 2023


A six-way partnership has enabled 23 secondary school learners to begin studying civil infrastructure in Fulton Hogan’s brown mix quarry this week.

UCOL Te Pūkenga is delighted to be delivering the New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Works (Level 2)* to a range of ākonga from Wainuiomata High School, St Patrick’s College Silverstream, Kuranui College, Heretaunga College, Upper Hutt College and Taita College, with the majority of them being Year 11.

Te Pūkenga Tumu Whenua ā-Rohe 3 | Executive Director Region 3, Mark Oldershaw, says the partnership that has enabled this opportunity to come to fruition has been a tangible example of what Te Pūkenga is working towards achieving on a consistent basis in the future.

“This model will enable our ākonga to become a skilled workforce much faster, by being able to begin this learning while they are still at high school. This programme is 18 weeks long with job opportunities at the end of it, or they can go onto further training.”

UCOL Executive Dean Engineering and Applied Technologies, Danny Reilly, says the delivery of this programme would not have been possible without all of the parties that have played a part in getting it to this point.

“When educational delivery is partnered with industry we have successful outcomes for the ākonga, the education provider and the overall sector and industry. We are so grateful to the partners that came to the party to get this initiative off the ground including, Fulton Hogan, Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce,Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ), the Ministry of Education, and the local Workforce Development Council.

Patrick McKibbin, Chief Executive of Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, addressed the partners today at a celebration of the Civil Infrastructure Academy developed saying, “great things like this happen because people like you say yes.”

“Over the next 10 years, $2.7B will be spent in the Hutt Valley region alone on various infrastructure projects. 800 people are needed for just one of those projects and our community will thrive if we can train those 800 people from within our own community and start them young.”

Civil Contractors New Zealand Workforce Development Manager Rebecca Fox was instrumental in helping to find the right person to deliver the training to our ākonga.

“It’s incredibly important that those delivering these programmes across the country are industry-based. These skilled professionals bring both the trade expertise and industry understanding which is critical to ensure that ākonga have the tools to succeed when they’re beginning their careers.”

Fulton Hogan HSEQ Divisional Manager, Quinn McCarthy, says the partnership is a long-term investment.

“This partnership is fantastic, long term investment for us, we are in desperate need of skilled workers across the industry. To be able to provide the quarry as an environment for these ākonga to learn in is a great opportunity to add that real-word element to their learning. At the end of their 18 weeks, if they are looking for employment we will interview them and are setting up a cadet programme, continuing our investment in their learning, by being able to have them experience every aspect of the business.”

Ākonga Oscar Jones found out about the Academy opportunity through St Patricks’ career advisor and “thought infrastructure sounded cool.”

“A friend and I headed along and found out a little bit more, put our names down and now we’re two days in. It’s been awesome! We’ve been told we’ll get to learn to drive the excavators next week which I’m pretty excited about, and receiving all the boots and tools has been really special for me, I’m really grateful. That’s not even considering how many opportunities this training will give me, which we’ve heard about at today’s celebration.”

*UCOL also delivers the New Zealand Certificate in Civil Infrastructure Works (Level 2) for those who are no longer studying at secondary school.