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22 May 2024

Future Squad: Building tomorrow’s tradespeople

Lakeside Future Squad

Te Kauwhata College students are placing the building blocks for their futures as they explore how a construction career could work for them.

Eleven rangatahi, aged 16-18, have just completed the first part of Future Squad – a three-day workshop with career panels, site visits, projects and expert guidance from consultants, build partners and urban development professionals.

And for some of those students, those three days are just the beginning.

“Part of our workshops included a really important step for anyone entering the workforce – real-life job interviews,” says Nigel Chandra, Construction Plus Manager.

“Two of our build partners – Finesse Residential and DEN Property – are providing opportunities for some of these students to gain on-site work experience at their developments currently under way in Lakeside.”

And, like any new job, it all starts with an interview. From there, students will spend one day on site each week, for up to six weeks.

“We’re really grateful to Finesse and DEN,” says Nigel. “They’re giving these students a chance to explore their interest in construction and develop really important skills that’ll help them reach their career goals.”

Led by Nigel, Future Squad is part of Construction Plus, where Kāinga Ora helps local communities impacted by urban development by connecting people with training, employment and industry opportunities across Aotearoa.

“The pathways created by Future Squad are only possible because of the efforts of so many different people and groups involved,” says Nigel.

“Along with our build partners, members across the various Kāinga Ora teams are all pitching in to give these students a really good look at what’s involved in urban development and construction.

“The Get Group are also helping students turn their work experience into tangible results – some of them have the potential to earn 21 NCEA Level 3 credits for completing Future Squad. Of course, it’s also important to say that none of this would be possible without the support and work from the team at Te Kauwhata College.”

Natalie Langman, Gateway Coordinator at Te Kauwhata College, says students “really enjoyed the course” and a chance to better understand the how housing and urban development sector operates.

“These courses give students amazing opportunities to explore more of what is available out there,” she says.

“With Te Kauwhata being a small town, halfway between Auckland and Hamilton, having Lakeside Development here has given us and our students heaps of opportunities.

“It’s meant being able to get work experience in the construction industry that we wouldn't have been able to gain otherwise.”