Each year, supervised by their Lecturers, UCOL Certificate in Carpentry students construct a three bedroom house under UCOL’s custom-designed covered facility at the Masterton campus. Run in conjunction with Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton and the Dugdale Charitable Trust, the UCOL building ventures are regarded as highly valuable community projects. UCOL’s Construction Programme Coordinator Brett Tickner and Carpentry lecturer Peter VanderVeen talk about this year’s house build progress:
Who benefits from the house build projects? The house build project is a ‘win, win, win’ situation. Our trade students get to work on a full scale construction job, our sponsors and industry partners get a platform to showcase their products and services, and the Life Flight Trust and Wairarapa Hospice will receive the profits of the house sale.
When did this year’s Certificate in Carpentry programme start? How many students are involved? The programme started on the 24 February with nine students, a second intake of four students on 24 March has brought the class up to 13. The one-year programme runs until 27 November.
Who is supporting the venture? We have had great responses from companies ready to help out. Mitre 10 is still our main sponsor. They have been very good to us, in the fact that they will deliver any materials at short notice and supply the students with bucket hats and T shirts. To date we have had Energy Smart of Masterton offer a whole house lot of insulation and demonstration of install techniques. Corys Electrical has indicated that they will be supplying all electrical products for free as a donation to the charities, Marshal Industries are supplying building wrap and flashings for free, Pryda Fasteners are coming on board with free brackets and fixings, JNL have supplied a heavily discounted house lot of plywood as a donation.
How else has Mitre 10 been involved? Mitre 10 Mega offered to employ one of our students on a Friday and Saturday (out of course hours) as additional work experience. One of our youngest learners has filled this position and judging from the GMs report, is doing very well and both parties are very happy with the arrangement. Some of our students went along to the Mitre 10 Truss Factory in Masterton to help make the external wall frames for the house.
What are the graduates from last year’s course doing now? Two students gained apprenticeships last year; one with Tararua Builders and one with an independent builder in Greytown that subcontracts to Jennian Homes. We also had several other students secure employment in other areas like JNL plant at Waingawa, and we have been verbal referees for others seeking employment. One student has pursued further studies in Construction Management.
What else has happened on site? Energy Smart of Masterton hosted an insulation install competition between their four branches in April. They used our subfloor framing to install under-floor insulation with Terra Lana. Of course with this competition happening on campus, our students were able to watch closely for install techniques and good practises.