WorkSafe New Zealand and UCOL are teaming up to make sure that construction students are ready for their apprenticeships, with a new learning initiative that helps them further develop their skills assessing and managing work risks.
The Kia Oho Ake pilot is a health and safety education initiative by WorkSafe. WorkSafe inspectors will join UCOL students in the classroom to help them learn how to safely identify, assess, and manage work risks, as well as strategies for communicating concerns onsite.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for UCOL and we’re thrilled for our students to learn directly from the experts at Worksafe,” says Sylvie Hickton, UCOL’s Health & Safety Manager.
UCOL Level 3 Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry) students learn with WorkSafe New Zealand Inspector Simon Kuiti.
“This pilot will enable our students to be more knowledgeable and prepared, and these additional learning experiences are going to be helpful when they’re applying for jobs. In turn, our local employers will benefit by getting graduates who already have these skills, and are ready to get stuck in and contribute to any construction site.”
The first workshop was held last week in Horowhenua, with 16 students taking part. Student Blake Nicholas was enjoying the session. ”We’ve been assessing what we should do first with management and elimination and it’s been good – I feel confident asking questions. I think I can take this with me when I join crews, and maybe I’ll even educate others on site.”
Construction students across three UCOL campuses will be taking part, with Manawatū and Wairarapa pilots starting this week. In total, 74 UCOL students will be involved.
Workshops will be held throughout the year, building students’ health and safety knowledge as they develop their construction skills.
“Everything we’re doing in this space just proves how important it is that vocational education gives learners the skills that industry is demanding,” says Danny Reilly, UCOL’s Executive Dean Engineering & Applied Technologies. “WorkSafe have said that the construction sector is a key focus for them, and our graduates will be helping make sites safer.”
Image: UCOL Level 3 Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry) students learn with WorkSafe New Zealand Inspectors Adrian Velich and Simon Kuiti.