Six days into a six-week Introduction to Welding course in Dannevirke and the nine participants are really "into" their new capabilities working with steel.
They enrolled with the help of Tararua Community Youth Services (TCYS) into a course offered by EIT and funded by the Ministry of Social Development as part of the Government's ongoing campaign to train young people in skills for employment.
The Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) has been running very successful building courses in Dannevirke principally in the Tumu ITM yard in Otanga St but this welding course is next door to TCYS in the former Scanpower workshop.
Course tutor Andy Sinclair said an attempt to set up this course last year failed for lack of applicants and an appropriate venue but since Covid everything fell into place, TCYS helping find nine good applicants.
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Some of the applicants had high school level welding experience but some had never done anything like this with metal.
There are eight males and one female enrolled, the latter saying she is thoroughly enjoying the programme and recommends it to other young ladies if another course is run.
Andy Sinclair said the emphasis is on introductory welding skills, safety procedures, group co-operation and project development.
Initially he had in mind as challenges to make braziers and car ramps but this group soon got cracking inventing their own projects including already a barbeque, a rotating lamb tail cooker (easily converted for steak and patties) and a letter box, and this is only a third of the way through the course.
The group works three days Monday-Wednesday each week combining theory classes and practical activities and at the end they gain a NZQA Level Three certificate. There was a really positive atmosphere in the workshop with the participants proud of their achievements.
A number are already contemplating enrolling in an apprenticeship course for 2021.