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Building careers from the ground up

November 2008

Building careers from the ground up

Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) Carpentry students are building careers as well as houses. The students on WelTec’s one year Pre-Trade Carpentry programme have built two complete three bedroom houses which were recently tendered and have now been sold.

The houses are built over a 16-week period throughout the year and are tendered at the completion of the trimester. Given that the construction crew don’t know where the house could conceivably end up, the houses are built to a very high wind zone and coastal standard, perfect for ever-changing and unpredictable Wellington weather.

This has been the first time WelTec students have built two houses simultaneously and a third house is currently being built for the first summer trimester offering in November.

WelTec Tutor Matthew McCullough is one of the Carpentry tutors involved in the project and supervises the students in construction of the house. “The students start from scratch and literally build the house from the foundations up. With supervision from teaching staff, they are able to get real experience of being on a building site in addition to practical workshop and theory work.”

“The students gain experience from cutting timber, putting in insulation, putting on the roof, working to a bracing plan and building and measuring to standard. It means that the students will have great work experience once they complete their studies and will be able to make the transition into industry with confidence.”

Many of the students involved in the project will go on to complete a carpentry cadetship through WelTec while working on a full-time basis. Carpentry student, Jason Penny who is working on a new house currently being built is enjoying the experience. “You get lots of job satisfaction being out here on the building site. It’s rewarding to see what we’ve been able to accomplish. One of the great things is the opportunity to learn on-site in a training environment. We get to put everything we’ve learnt in the classroom into practice out here on site.”

New owner of one of the houses, Phil Gibb was suitably impressed with the standard of the house. “We were interested in the Gable roof house as we are looking to locate this house to a coastal section we have in Te Awaiti, which is about 40 mins out from Martinborough.

“We inspected the house on site and found that the standard on the build was of a very high standard both in material use and also workmanship. I was impressed with the finishing of the exterior cladding and the attention to detail.
“This is a real credit to WelTec in their supervision and tuition in the build of this house with the new and up and coming tradesmen who were involved in the building. We are very happy and excited about the next stage of having it located to our favourite coastal spot”.”


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