A Gateway to the construction industry for learners

Collaboration between local community initiatives and BCITO, Te Pūkenga have been instrumental in providing pathways for second-chance learners to gain meaningful employment in the construction sector.

The Building, Construction and Allied Trades Skills (BCATS) programme is a BCITO, Te Pūkenga initiative that is harnessed by community organisations to provide learning resources, materials, and assessment opportunities to support learners needing a boost.

To ensure the learning is fit for purpose for the learners needs, BCITO, Te Pūkenga have developed programmes that are theory blended with on-the-job practical learning. Local initiatives approach BCITO often through the Ministry of Social Development, for support and resources. BCITO then equips these initiatives with the resources that best recognise the available learning opportunities to support the learners to be able to move forward with employment.

The BCATS programme was recently harnessed by a community project in Napier called “Building Futures to Aid Second Chance Learners.” This programme was set up with funding from the Ministry of Social Development to provide more support for people looking for work, who had little work experience on their CV. BCITO fed into this programme by tailoring NZQA accredited unit standards for the programme.

Firstly, the learners were evaluated so that the unit standards would meet their specific needs, time was then spent analysing which learning approaches would be best suited. Six standards were then developed which included workshop-based projects to provide the appropriate skills, which would be recognised under a formal qualification.

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Paul McDowall is a Kaitohutohu Māori, a Māori learning advisor at BCITO Te Pūkenga. He has been directly involved with “Building Futures” and highlighted how these short duration programmes benefit those transitioning into the construction industry or other work.

“The collaboration between BCITO and “Building Futures” has been really beneficial for the learners in the community, as it’s provided opportunities for people who perhaps weren’t suited to the traditional school system. We are able to give them the confidence to apply themselves and learn valuable skills that lead to employment.”

BCITO’s Implementation and Transition Manager, Mark Chalmers, has been instrumental in many of these initiatives.

“These initiatives combine industry related learning with community programmes, to provide excellent pastoral and educational support. These opportunities improve learning outcomes; learners are equipped with skills and a pathway to gaining meaningful employment,” says Chalmers.

Aotearoa New Zealand needs more people to upskill and grow their knowledge to create much-needed quality homes and infrastructure. BCITO has the resources and support systems in place to ensure everyone can enhance and refine their skills. To learn more, head to https://bcito.org.nz  

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