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Local youth explore a future in construction

24 May 2023
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Jarvis and Prashil, were two of eight, Year 12 and 13 students from Manurewa High, Mangere College and Aorere College who graduated from the recent Construction Plus Spotless Cadetship programme. The experience allowed them to gain valuable skills and learn more about employment opportunities in the construction sector.

The programme is a joint initiative between Kāinga Ora and Spotless (a Downer company), that gives Mangere youth exposure to a variety of construction jobs and careers. Under the programme, Year 12 and 13 students from the selected schools, gain two weeks’ work experience with a range of trade businesses that contract to Spotless. Cadets work with plumbers, electricians, painters and carpenters.

Jarvis, from Manurewa High, completed the programme in the building division. His supervisor, Ofa from Panorama, was keen for Jarvis to not only get overview of the building process but to learn some core skills he could use to do maintenance around his home. Jarvis tells us, “I am doing construction at school, so I loved the opportunity to be on site, learning new skills, being part of the team, and improving on what I already know.”  

Prashil, from Aorere College, completed the programme under the guidance of Newborn Electrical. His is an area he is particularly interested in as he’s currently also completing the pre-trade programme at ETCO (The Electrical Training Company). Prashil’s advice to those training to be an electrician is “ask lots of questions. When you are dealing with electricity, you need to get it right!”.

Kāinga Ora Construction Plus Manager, Nigel Chandra, says that “while the programme is a positive way for youth to pass the school holidays, the key focus is to build confidence and capability in young people to explore career options in the construction industry. This first-hand taste of the trades allows them to make informed decisions about a future in this sector.”

“There’s lots of exciting new development happening in Mangere and this programme opens up employment and career opportunities for local youth. It’s also good for the industry, encouraging more young people to train to be tradies.” 

“I cannot advocate enough for this programme and the development opportunities this has to offer to our community - whether it be career development or simply personal development. Whilst Spotless and Kāinga Ora have managed this programme for over 5 years, we cannot miss out on an opportunity to acknowledge the great efforts that go into this programme from the Spotless subcontracting companies. They display a great commitment and dedicate many hours as they take our youth under their wing and mentor them into learning new trade skills. We continue to encourage students to step out of their comfort zones to try out this programme - the wide smiles at each graduation day are always telling just how beneficial this programme is to our community and the difference it truly does make.” 

The Construction Plus programme runs every school holiday through the school year. Since it was established in 2018, over 200 local students have completed the programme, with over half going on to be employed in the sector.  The next programme will run in July.