The “Big Construction Tour” aimed to give students a chance to see what builders, tilers and other tradies do every day and encourage them to go into trades.

Video: Bradan Lawrence, 17, (front) and Jacob Mear, 17, on a construction tour at Lee Bros Joinery. Photo/Ben Fraser

Tours were held around the country, with about 40 students attending in Rotorua.

Braydan Lawrence, a Year 13 student at Rotorua Boys’ High School, was attending to learn more about different trades.

He was still making up his mind about which area to go into, he said, but university wasn’t on his radar.

“I’m sort of looking at building or maybe joinery … I haven’t fully decided.”

Jacob Mear, from Western Heights High School, said he considered university “for a bit” but was more interested in the trades.

“I’ve never been a theory person.”

He was interested in building and engineering, he said, and several members of his family were engineers.

“My dad’s an engineer; my stepdad’s an engineer, and my grandfather’s an engineer.”

One of the stops on the tour was Lee Brothers Joinery, where staff showed students around the workshop and demonstrated how they put together cabinets and doors.

Lee Brothers manager Paul Ingram said he was hoping to recruit more apprentices, perhaps from the students who toured the site.

“We like that young people are being encouraged to look at trades as a career,” he said. “These young guys are our future.”

The tour was run by building training organisation BCITO, which aims to get more young people into apprenticeships.

Craig Gulliver, from BCITO, said the tour was about promoting the industry and encouraging students to think about building as a career.

BCITO chief executive Warren Quinn said many more apprentices would be needed over the next five years.

“While the BCITO has record numbers of apprentices in training, more are needed to fill the shortfall. The industry needs around 50,000 new workers over the next five years.”

Source: Rotorua Daily Post

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