WorkSafe New Zealand and UCOL are teaming up with a new learning initiative that helps construction students 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.
“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.”
Manawatū’s first workshop kicked off late last month, with 39 students taking part. Student Campbell Poulton enjoyed the session. ”It was good to have someone come in with this wide knowledge of assessing and managing risks in the worksite. It was really assuring having someone explain the effects of these risks and how much control you have in managing and eliminating them.”
“Learning about asbestos was the most interesting part for me – how to work with it, how to control it, how dangerous it is. It’s obviously something that will come up when I’m in working, so it’s good to learn about it now.”
Construction students across three UCOL campuses will be taking part, with programmes in Horowhenua and Wairarapa as well. In total 74 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.”