Colspec Construction foreman Nicholas Walsh has been awarded a study scholarship worth $6000 to help him further his career in the construction industry.
UCOL, Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47 and Registered Master Builders partnered up this year to deliver the Freemasons Willson Lewis Scholarship for qualified trades people in the construction industry wishing to upskill.
The scholarship is named in honour of long-time Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47 members Jim Willson and Sam Lewis, who both ran significant construction businesses in Manawatū.
The successful recipient for 2016, Nicolas Walsh was presented with the scholarship at an event in the UCOL Trades Centre in Palmerston North last week.
UCOL Executive Dean Engineering and Applied Technology, Dr Nicky Van der Bergh says the aim of the scholarship is to assist those aspiring to broaden their career and become involved in the wider construction industry in the Manawatū and Whanganui regions.
"We're glad to provide this opportunity for Nicholas to learn and develop new skills that will help him further his career in the construction industry. The Freemasons were one of the first groups to offer vocational education, so it's great to see that come full circle with this scholarship."
The scholarship will allow the recipient to study at UCOL in either the New Zealand Diploma in Business, New Zealand Diploma in Construction (with strands in Construction Management and Quantity Surveying), or New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology.
Mr Walsh says it was very humbling to receive the scholarship after hearing the histories of Jim Willson and Sam Lewis.
"I have a lot to live up to. I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me, but this is a great opportunity and I'm keen to take on this new challenge."
Mr Walsh says he plans to study the New Zealand Diploma in Construction focussing on Construction Management.
"I want to stay with Colspec and hopefully progress into a site manager role after I've finished studying".
Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge No. 47 member Malcolm Pettman spoke at the event, saying that the scholarship was initiated after his organisation received bequests from the estates of Jim Willson and Sam Lewis.
"Rather than just put money into lodge funds, it was decided to place the monies received into a separate fund, add a further amount from lodge funds, and use the interest to set up a scholarship for the construction industry."
Further funding was then received from UCOL, Registered Master Builders, and the Freemasons Charity.
Manawatu Registered Master Builders President Cameron Isles says he is proud to partner with UCOL and Manawatu Kilwinning Lodge to establish the scholarship and ensure its funding for at least the next five years.
"The range of courses offered through the scholarship are critical to the construction industry and gives the successful candidate some genuine skills that will benefit both themselves, their employers, and the industry as a whole."
Pictured: UCOL Head of School of Engineering Danny Reilly, Freemasons Willson Lewis Scholarship recipient Nicolas Walsh, and UCOL Executive Dean Engineering and Applied Technology Dr Nicky Van der Bergh.