Hastings Boys' High School is creating a stepladder and building the scaffolding their students need to make the leap from school to the trades industry.
This year the school is introducing the region's first Building Academy, a full-time course for 14 students to build a house on school grounds.
HBHS head of technology Salla Delport said it was about giving the boys an option of what they did to earn NCEA Level 3.
"Not all of our boys are made for university or know what they want to do. This gives them the opportunity to figure that out while they are still at school," Delport said.
The students will spend the year building a transportable three-bedroom house that will then be placed somewhere within the community.
The Building Academy is a Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) accredited building course.
The Year 13s will complete all associated courses including site safety, working at heights, first aid, getting a forklift licence and more.
Through the programme they will gain experience in sub-trades including work experience in the plumbing and electrical trades, through Isaac's Plumbing, Pumping & Electrical.
Delport said he was forming relationships with local industries to help create pathways for the boys coming through the school.
The idea started three years ago when Patton Engineering first reached out to HBHS after realising there was a shortage of local workers.
Patton Engineering helped upgrade the schools engineering department and offered a work experience programme in the hope of getting more "boys" interested in the trade.
HBHS is now recognised nationally for its relationships with local industries, Delport said.
He's been having Zoom calls with schools across the country during the pandemic to help them make a plan to connect with their local industries.
The Building Academy is backed by Kainga Ora, and Tumu Timbers and Tumu ITM Hawke's Bay had donated a generous amount to help with the supplies and equipment for the house.
Delport said in the first week back at school he will be interviewing students for a position in the academy.
One thing left to do before they can start is get a large slab of concrete down and a container dome, which could cost up to $45,000, Delport said.
They are looking for funding or possibly a concrete company to help get the cost down a bit.
Right now the building academy is only for year 13 students, however, Delport has seen interest from parents of Year 12 students.
"If all goes well this year we will definitely look at creating a building academy for Year 12 students," Delport said.
The academy would hopefully help with trades shortages in Hawke's Bay.
"This could make a difference for a lot of our boys who may never have felt the support to go into a trade before."
Any sub-trade workers such as tilers, dry-wallers, welders, painters and roofers who may be interested in donating some of their time to teach the boys were asked to contact the school.