An EIT carpentry course being run in Waipukurau this year is enabling students to complete their Level 3 carpentry qualifications in Central Hawke's Bay for the first time, rather than having to travel to the Taradale campus.

Sixteen students are enrolled in the 36-week course that began in the middle of July and has them building a 97sq m, two-bedroom transportable house.

Yesterday, students' family members joined them for a barbecue lunch to celebrate where they have got with the project so far.

Carpentry tutor Rei Meha said that although Level 2 courses had been run at the Waipukurau campus before, it was a boost to have that extended to Level 3.

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"It makes a difference not having to travel to Taradale - some of these students have families that rely on them and need to be closer to home."

The house is being built on an empty yard off James St, Waipukurau, and will feature a bathroom, en suite and lounge, with other features.

Mr Meha said the aim was to use local suppliers for the likes of windows, doors, plumbing and electricity, and once the house was finished it would be sold.

On the successful completion of the course the students will look to secure apprenticeships.