Charity house build chat

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:

Waiarapa UCOL house build

The sub floor framing easily passed its Council building inspection.

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.

The Best Print

It’s so nice to see Graduate success stories in the news.

A big congratulations goes out to Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging Graduate Heather Ferry for taking home the Ronald D Woolf Youth Award for the Best Print by an under-25-year-old in the 2014 Photographic Society of New Zealand’s annual Canon National Exhibition competition.

Check out the print and read the Wanganui Chronicle story here.

Positive changes for bright futures

UCOL Palmerston North held its annual Youth Guarantee scholarship ceremony last week.

It’s always heartwarming to see new groups of young people keen to get learning, with their parents/caregivers by their side to support them.

Seventy-six students have now started their fee-free study at the Palmerston North campus across 16 programmes, and more scholarships will be awarded later in the year for study starting in Semester 2.

I spoke to one student, Seventeen year old Reegan Kreegher, who was receiving a scholarship. He completed a National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering Level 2 through the U-Skills programme while at Manawatu College last year, and has now received a scholarship to study the National Certificate in Fitting, Welding and Machining Level 3. This is a great example of a young person making the most out of school learning and making a start on training for a career.

Reegan said he is enjoying the full-time study so far and it is ”quite cruisey but also
challenging.”

It’s also pleasing to hear that of the 66 students awarded Youth Guarantee scholarships last year, 24 are now  working, eight have started apprenticeships, and 27 moved on to further study in areas such as Nursing, Midwifery, Vet Nursing, Visual Imagery and Engineering.

Congratulations to all scholarship recipients.

Youth Guarantee student Reegan Kreegher outside UCOL's Regional Trades and Technology Centre

Reegan Kreegher outside UCOL’s Regional Trades and Technology Centre

Palmy set for powerlifters

There’s another exciting event on at UCOL’s Palmerston North campus this weekend… this time involving powerlifters.

We are hosting the Central Districts Powerlifting Champs on Saturday from 9am – everyone is welcome to come along and watch for free.

Sixty experienced lifters from around the Central Districts region registered to compete, including our own Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science Lecturer Hayden Pritchard and Graduate Jono Parsons. Top New Zealand lifter Brett Gibbs is also competing.

See the poster below and check out the event on Facebook.

Powerlifting poster

Building battle this weekend

The  Certified Builders Carpentry Apprentice Challenge 2014 regional competition is on this weekend at our regional Trades and Technology Centre in Palmerston North !

Four keen apprentices from New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Hastings and Eketahuna are registered to enter to compete for a place in the National Final, held in conjunction with the Certified Builders Annual Conference and Expo in Hamilton in June.

All four competitors are UCOL students, studying towards the four-year part time National Certificate in Carpentry Level 4 under UCOL’s managed apprenticeship programme.

The competition will take place this Saturday from 8.30am – 4.30pm. This is the first time the Central region has competed in the national competition, now in its fifth year.

Each competitor will have eight hours to build a wooden benchseat, which will be donated into the community after the event. The winner will be announced at the end of the eight hours.

The first prize winner at the National Final will take home $5000 worth of prizes including an Outward Bound experience sponsored by GIB and an iPad sponsored by Noel Leeming. Second prize is $3500 worth of DeWalt power tools, and third prize $2000 of ITM vouchers.

Good luck to all competitors!

All the way to Aotearoa

Humility and the importance of the teacher in learning environments are just two of the learnings taken away by a group of Chinese visitors to UCOL recently.

Fifteen Senior Lectures from Guangzhou Vocational Technical Schools in the province of Guangdong in Southern China, and two Chinese Government representatives were hosted by UCOL for three weeks in February and March.

The group’s team leader Mr Li Liwen said China, as a developing country, has a lot to learn from New Zealand in terms of education. “Some things are very similar, but some very different. I have formed deep impressions about UCOL’s advanced teaching concepts, friendly teaching environments, information technology and the structure of quality assurance systems.”

During their time in New Zealand the group members toured Manawatu and Whanganui, explored the New Zealand culture and learnt about many different aspects of UCOL’s teaching concepts. Feedback was positive and Lecturers highlighted things such as UCOL’s efficiency, positive interaction between teachers and learners, educational resources, attention to detail with safety, mobile learning, and emphasis on student orientation.

Attention to Maori students and Maori learning was noted, and one group member picked up on UCOL’s slogan, saying that “UCOL is more than just an education.”

Comments about New Zealand in general were that the country is like a large garden, and that there is beautiful scenery and clean air. One Lecturer said that she felt “happy every day while at UCOL and in New Zealand.”

The Guangzhou Lectures will now put together an 8000 word report to the Guangzhou Municipal Human Resources Bureau and a 3000 word report for their school on their learnings from the visit. We hope that they include their comments about New Zealand’s handsome men..!

Chinese Lecturers with UCOL staff

Chinese Lecturers with UCOL staff

Introducing… UICP/A

Last week UCOL launched the UCOL Institute of Commercial Photography Auckland (UICP/A).

In response to a strong market demand for commercial photography training in
Auckland, UCOL is delivering the two-year Diploma in Photographic Imaging through UICP/A, with support from Canon!

The idea is to connect students with the latest imaging technology and equip them with industry resource and knowledge.

UCOL Chief Executive Paul McElroy said at the launch, “UCOL is a leader in photographic training, setting benchmarks for programmes in visual imaging across New Zealand, and Canon is the world’s leading imaging brand.” He said that together UCOL and Canon are able to lay the foundation for students to move successfully into professional careers by empowering them with high quality education as well as industry resource and knowledge.

This is exciting stuff! Check out the full media release here. Better yet, check out UICP/A’s cool new website.

Canon and UCOL representatives at the UICP/A launch

Canon and UCOL representatives at the UICP/A launch

A lot of graduates!

UCOL’s Palmerston North campus marks a big milestone at its Graduation ceremonies next week.

This year there are over 2000 students eligible to graduate with Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates!

To be exact, the Ceremonies, on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 March at the Regent on Broadway, celebrate the achievements of 2020 graduands across four faculties and is a 20
per cent increase in numbers from the past two years.

Good work everybody!

Read more here.