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“If you can build it you will succeed”

Speech by the Deputy Prime Minister to Dargaville High School to mark the opening of the home designed and constructed by the school Trades Academy.

“If you can build it you will succeed”

Today is an important occasion.

It is a day to mark a considerable achievement.

Achievement can be measured in many forms and this achievement is one that everybody can relate to – it is the construction of a new home.

As a group of students you have applied yourselves to learning.

You have taken the first step to improve your prospects.

You have my admiration in choosing this path.

Learning a new skill is never easy. It takes commitment, it takes perseverance.

Now, new doors will open for you – and when I say new doors I literally mean new doors.

For this reason alone it is important to acknowledge your work and effort.

Learning the skill of building is a great skill to have.

Even as the acting Prime Minister and as a Leader of a political party, I still wish to have more hammer and carpentry skills.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m better than most politicians that inhabit the Beehive, and am certainly more handy than all the journalists !

My point is this, the one lesson you must remember is that there is no horizon on a practical skill. The opportunities are plentiful.

The pathway starts by becoming an apprentice.

In this country the average age of an apprentice is 26 years. That is too old. We want and need our young people learning their trades as soon as they can.

So to all the students of Dargaville High School involved with the Trades Academy let me applaud your participation and effort. This is the best possible start.

To the Principal, and members of the community who have supported the development of this Trades Academy and its related focus on house construction, well done

It is a win-win situation for the Dargaville community because this venture aims to respond to the housing shortage in the community, as well as helping students gain valuable skills for employment.

Without doubt Trade Academies provide practical industry experience for secondary school students towards a career choices in various vocational pathways.

Trades academies motivate students to stay engaged in learning and training by providing them with a greater number of options for study.

They provide students with clear pathways from school by giving them a head start on training for vocational qualifications and smooth access to employment.

But words are words. Deeds and achievement are so much more important.

And the Dargaville High School Trades Academy new architecturally designed house is such an achievement.

Congratulations, and on behalf of the government let me say how much of a pleasure it is to be here to open the new house.


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