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Secondary School Students Build a Bright Future

Secondary School Students Build a Bright Future in BCITO’s Build-Ability Challenge

Secondary school students from across the country are competing in this year’s BCITO Build-Ability Challenge which will put their building skills to the test while highlighting the benefits of a career in the trades.

Twenty one secondary schools have put together teams of up to ten students who are competing to build, paint and decorate a playhouse and be named supreme winners.

The building phase of the challenge kicked off on 6 June, and the playhouses must be finished by 19 August, when they will be donated to local charities.

The Challenge is a key part of BCITO’s strategy to help achieve the Government’s goal of meeting the growing demand for apprentices, which was highlighted in the 2016 Budget, says BCITO Chief Executive Warwick Quinn.

“The Build-Ability Challenge not only gives students the opportunity to develop new skills and experience, but it also plays an important part in encouraging students to consider the wide range of opportunities in the construction industry,” he says.

“The Challenge has a proven track record of recruiting potential apprentices into the construction industry. We have seen a number of last year’s participants move into carpentry apprenticeships which is fantastic!”

Nick Lewis, a participant in the 2015 Build-Ability competition who is now working as a carpentry apprentice in Palmerston North, credits the Build-Ability Challenge with opening the door to this career for him straight out of school.

Nick was recently awarded a BCITO Gateway Scholarship which will cover all of his training fees throughout his apprenticeship.

“The skills and experience I gained through the Challenge helped me get into an apprenticeship and have continued to be invaluable to my training,” he says.

This year, Challenge participants will learn skills that can contribute towards unit and achievement standards in the BCATS National Certificates. Both the Challenge and BCATS aim to develop literacy, numeracy and communication skills, as well as connecting with the Technology Curriculum.

The Challenge will be judged in a two-step process, with the completed project being inspected onsite, and the design and planning being judged by a national judging panel.

Each team will be mentored by their technology teacher and supported by a BCITO Skills Broker.

The ‘Supreme Winners’ will receive a $1,000 voucher for their school’s technology department, with additional prizes for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ and the ‘Best Video Entry’.

The ‘People’s Choice’ winner will be selected by the public via The winners will be announced on 12 September.

The schools competing in the 2016 BCITO Build-Ability Challenge are:

Awatapu College Matamata College South Westland Area School
Cromwell College Nelson College Takapuna High School
Dannevirke High School Otahuhu College Tamatea High School
Feilding High School Palmerston North Boys' High School Waitara High School
Hornby High School Queen Charlotte College Waiuku College
Howick College Raglan Area School Wanganui City College
Lytton High School Rosehill College Whangaparaoa College

To find out more, follow the students’ journey and to vote for your favourite visit


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