Over the last couple of years, BCITO have helped no less than 12 players across the Lions, Pride and Wellington Rugby Academy into apprenticeships – some of which are now on hold due to pro contracts. On top of this, there are 16 young athletes coming through the ranks that are looking at following the same path.
WRFU CEO, Matt Evans, says it is crucial athletes work towards being skilled both on and off the field.
“We work really hard on the professional development of our young men and women coming through the system. If nothing else, COVID-19 showed us how quickly rugby can be taken away from us and the need to have a back-up plan available.”
The sentiment is shared by BCITO’s Chief Executive, Warwick Quinn.
“This year is the perfect time to formalise our partnership and ensure players have the correct support to transition well to “life after rugby” through apprenticeships and by growing their skills and knowledge in the trades.”
Quinn says trades also provide an opportunity to keep active at work and avoid having to sit behind a desk.
“This partnership will further strengthen the work already being done to raise the profile of apprenticeship training and help to raise awareness of the many and varied opportunities that exist in building and construction, for both men and women.”
Burgeoning rugby talent, Sam Smith is almost two years into a building apprenticeship and says he is loving that he gets to learn whilst staying active.
“As a rugby player I think it is good for me to have a physical job as it keeps me fit and allows me to feel as if I have achieved something every day. It can be hard at times as it doesn’t allow me a lot of time to rest, however, I love to be busy and pushing myself as much as I can. Although it can be tough some days when my body is tired, the rewards and experience that I get from doing both rugby and building is definitely worth the challenge.”
Smith says he knows how fickle the world of professional sport can be and so he is grateful to be honing other skills and talents.
“I have learnt a lot over the last two years and it feels good knowing that building will always be something I can use to my advantage either during my rugby career or after.
“Some skills I have learnt throughout my building apprenticeship have also transferred well into rugby and my apprenticeship has proved a great platform for myself develop my team building skills and my ability to be an efficient leader.”
The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) has set a record of 16,000 apprentices in training.
Have you heard? – the NAWIC Excellence awards 2021 are happening and open for nominations!