Press Release: BCITO Build-Ability Challenge begins today

New Zealand schools go head-to-head in annual Build-Ability Challenge

Twenty eight secondary schools from across the country have stood up to compete in BCITO’s annual Build-Ability Challenge, giving students the opportunity to develop new skills and experience in the building sector.

Build-Ability LogoThe Challenge kicks off today, and is a key part of BCITO’s strategy to promote building and construction careers to secondary school students. The winning team will take home $1,000 for their school technology department.

BCITO Chief Executive Ruma Karaitiana says the challenge is a partnership with schools to actively encourage young people to consider a career in the building and construction industry.

“We have a persistent shortage of young people considering education in a whole range of areas within the construction sector. The building and construction industry is still going through a period of rapid growth and demand,” he says. “The Build-Ability Challenge helps raise awareness of the incredible opportunities available in the industry. School leavers starting an apprenticeship can be confident they won’t struggle to get established in the industry – the opportunities for them are endless.”

Each school competing in the Build-Ability Challenge will have a team of up to five students, who are tasked with building, painting and decorating a playhouse to defined specifications. The playhouses must have a distinctive theme, be safe, fit-for-purpose, and showcase the construction skills of the team. The playhouses will be gifted to a local community group after the challenge.

Each team will be mentored by their technology teacher and supported by a BCITO Skills Broker. Each team will blog about their progress over the four months of the challenge, and the ‘People’s Choice’ winner will be selected by the public via

18 year old Callum Dicksbourne from Feilding High School was on the Supreme Award-winning team for the Build-Ability Challenge last year, and has now moved into an apprenticeship with BCITO. He says creativity made their team stand out from others in the competition.

“We stepped outside of the box. While lots of teams went with a standard style of sandpit, we made a replica of a 1964 mustang with rolling wheels and everything, all out of wood!” he says. “I knew that I wanted to move into an apprenticeship after school, and the Challenge helped me a lot. I picked up a lot of new skills and I got my name out there, which is invaluable.”

Judges will be looking out for creativity this year, following the new proud partnerships with Master Painters and Dulux. Out of the 14 trades that BCITO offers, painting and decorating holds the second largest intake of apprentices.

The schools competing in the 2015 BCITO Build-Ability Challenge are:
Awatapu College, Central Hawkes Bay College, Dannevirke High School, Feilding High School, Forest View High School, Howick College, Hutt Valley High School, Kaikorai Valley College, Kamo High School, Kerikeri High School, Mana College, Manurewa High School, Middleton Grange School, Opotiki College, Otahuhu College, Queen Charlotte College, Riccarton High School, Rosehill College, South Otago High School, Rotorua Boys High School, Takapuna Grammar School, Tamatea High School, Tararua College, Thames High School, Tuakau College, Waiopehu College, Waitara High School, Waiuku College.

The Challenge’s build phase runs until 14 August, before judging and voting for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ takes place.

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