For seven students on a 10-month carpentry course in Dannevirke, it's all about building foundations for a future.

The course, run by the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Hawke's Bay, in conjunction with Tararua Community Youth Services, is designed for those who want to pursue a career in construction, but it isn't just another course, Tararua Community Youth Services manager Jeanne O'Brien said. "It really opens doors and could be life-changing."

This is the second course to be run in Dannevirke. The first was an inaugural foundation building and carpentry course from which 16 young men graduated.

EIT tutor Campbell "CJ" Johnson said: "The response to this latest course is awesome. It's going so well."

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The six men and one woman are spending the 40 weeks on the Level 3 course splitting their time 50/50 between theory and practical work.

"We're half way and we're just starting to get our teeth into actual building now," CJ said.

Work is under way on the framing of a 125sq m three-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage at Tumu Timbers' yard on the outskirts of Dannevirke and will be auctioned once completed.