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WelTec carpentry programme graduates gain job opportunities of a life-time

 “This is the opportunity of a life-time,” says young Maori graduate of Wellington Institute of Technology’s certificate in carpentry programme, Cormac Wyllie.

 “I want to thank everyone for all their help along the way,” Mr Wyllie says.

The young apprentice is one of five WelTec graduates taken on by building company David Hale Building Ltd in Wellington, who is currently building 20 three-storey townhouses in Mt Cook.   The company plans to take on more WelTec graduates early in 2013.

Company owner Dave Hale says he is thrilled with the attitude and skill of his new employees who have come from studying a pre-trade qualification at WelTec in Petone this year.

“These guys are outstanding. They have exactly the right skill-set an employer in the building and construction industry needs,” said Mr Hale.  “They also have positive attitudes and good work ethics. It was the right decision to take them on to ensure my company can grow to complete the big size projects ahead of us over the next two to three years.  The building industry in Wellington has been through tough times but things are picking up and the future looks bright for those wanting to work in the industry.”

The graduates were congratulated on their achievement on-site in Mt Cook, Wellington today by Roger Sowry, WelTec and Whitireia Council Chair, WelTec Chief Executive Dr Linda Sissons, Dave Hale, Tamaiti Whangai mentors and Neil McDonald, WelTec Head of Construction.

“It’s fantastic to see the partnership of WelTec, Te Runanga and David Hale Construction Ltd mentoring young students through their studies and taking them on as employees,” says Mr Sowry.  The Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, also sent a statement of congratulations, wishing the graduates ‘the best of luck’ in their new careers, and also commending Dave Hale Building for providing the opportunity of a job with further training.

David Lomax, Tamaiti Whangai mentor with the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) and Te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui, spoke highly of the graduates. “These are hardworking kids and they’ve been going great-guns with their studies this year,” Mr Lomax says.

“Now they can use the skill set that they have learnt from building a house, which is part of their programme of study at WelTec, and apply it to a real job. It’s a tough job market out there and this training gives them a real advantage.”

“This is exciting news for Wellington and for our students,” says Linda Sissons, Chief Executive Wellington Institute of Technology.  “WelTec and Whitireia have been training people as part of the government’s push on trades training.  We are extremely pleased that such a large cohort of students has been taken on by one employer who is committed to further training.”

WelTec’s School of Construction trains 860 students in all aspects of trades training.  Around 550 graduate each year from entry level qualifications through to diploma programmes targeting supervisory roles. 

The Tamaiti Whangai partnership in the Hutt Valley/Wellington area with Taranaki Whanui provides an effective model, supporting all Maori youth from birth to 18 years old.  WelTec will continue to invest in the success of its unique Tamaiti Whangai programme with the local Maori community, which has already been instrumental in reducing the performance gap between involved Maori and all students to 5%.

From left:  WelTec graduates Cormac Wyllie, Vijay Prasad, Mike Corcoran, Dave Hale (of David Hale Building) Shaun Owen and Blaise Lomax.

Top photo: From left: Leighton KarawanaTe Puni Kokiri, Wirangi Luke Te Runanga o Taranaki Whanui, Arnold Lomax WelTec, Neil McDonald WelTec Head of Construction, Dave Hale of David Hale Building Ltd, Roger Sowry WelTec and Whitireia Council Chair, WelTec Chief Executive Linda Sissons. (In front) Graduates and new employees Cormac Wylie, Mike Corocaran and Blaise Lomax.

Bottom photo: From left:  WelTec graduates Cormac Wyllie, Vijay Prasad, Mike Corcoran, Dave Hale (of David Hale Building) Shaun Owen and Blaise Lomax.

The WelTec graduates are:
Shaun (Turirangi) Owen (aged 18) from Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt.
Cormac Wyllie (aged 17) from Belmont, Lower Hutt. 
Vijay Prasad from Stokes Valley (aged 18).
Mike Corcoran from Wainuiomata (aged 22).
Blaise Lomax from Petone (aged 22).

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