Building their way to the top

TEAMWORK: Seven of Howick College’s nine Build-Ability Challenge team members, from left: Daniel, Robert, Keegan, James, Jack, Alex and Sarah. Photo supplied.

Many hands make light work, the saying goes, and it couldn’t be more true for a team of Howick College students embarking on the ultimate secondary schools building competition.

It’s the third year the college has taken part in the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation’s (BCITO) Build-Ability Challenge – a nationwide competition held annually to demonstrate the opportunities of a career in the trades and encourage new apprenticeships.

Teams from 15 secondary schools are allocated 19 weeks to build their project before judging and online public voting commences.

In 2015, Howick College built a playhouse with a Fencible theme and donated it to Somerville Kindergarten, and in 2016, a pirate ship playhouse that now resides in a restaurant/bar between Kopu and Thames.

This year, the dedicated team has committed to creating garden features for the school’s environmental fruit garden – a photo frame, wooden bridge and pergola with a swing.

Howick College building construction teacher in charge, Willem Du Toit, said this year’s project was decided upon with careful consideration and intentional collaboration with the school’s environmental committee, and he looks forward to seeing the final product.

He said motivation, leadership and teamwork were what he hoped to see from the students, who are able to earn unit and achievements standards toward future construction training.

“The students enjoy it each year and are proud to see the end product going to a good home,” he said.

“My role is to make sure everything fits at the end and they are building according to their plans and time-frame.”

Nine year 12 students currently enrolled in the college’s building construction course are taking part in the competition.

Winners will be announced in September and progress can be followed on the team’s blog.