Scheme equips students with tools for future
Seventeen building students have this year graduated from the Nga Kanohi Marae o Wairarapa Trades Training and WelTec scheme.
During the 34-week marae-based course Level 3 trainees also built "from the piles to the last bit of gib" a fully insulated, high specification three-bedroom home, WelTec tutor Bruce Oliver said.
Mr Oliver, a Level 2 tutor who has been with the scheme since 2010, said the home was built at the WelTec School of Construction workshop in Edwin Feist Place - near the scheme base at Te Heru a Rangi Cultural and Education Centre - under the guidance of Level 3 tutor Joe Anderson.
Scheme co-ordinator Charles Morunga said the home was sold and would be shifted on to a property in Martinborough.
A home built by Level 3 trainees last year had been valued at about $100,000 and was sold and shifted to a site in Carterton.
Mr Morunga said seven of the Level 3 graduates this year had returned after successfully completing Level 2 studies last year and four of the latest graduates had already signed up for the Level 3 course in 2014.
"There's always the drop-offs and we're wary of that but our Level 3 graduates, from where they've come to where they are now, have had to be methodically stepped out.
"You can't just come off the street or off the marae and go straight into Level 3 but taking it step by step, you can graduate. Like [late Nga Kanohi chairman] Tom Paku used to say, there's no excuse for youth to be on the streets when there are courses like this."
The marae-based scheme, which WelTec partnered in 2010, aims to train mostly at-risk teens and had launched the preceding year as a New Zealand-first pilot. Genesis Energy is the major scheme sponsor along with Masterton District Council and the JR McKenzie Trust.
Prospective trainees are now being targeted for the upcoming scheme, Mr Morunga said, during which Level 3 trainees will again build a house from scratch and Level 2 students will study numeracy, literacy and complete jobs in carpentry, roofing, plumbing and electrical work.
He hopes the training opportunity also will win the attention of schools, youth agencies and youth workers who may have prospective trainees in mind for referral.