2012 Course is Up and Running!

Youth Into Industry 2012 kicked off last month with an intensive induction week at the end of May. Seven students, from Whangarei Boys, Tikipungau and Kamo High Schools signed up for the programme to see if a career in Infrastructure is in their future.
Alistair McIntyre is the Youth Into Industry Programme coordinator and was responsible for its launch in 2010. By the following year the three day pilot evolved into a 30 week comprehensive programme. "This will be our second yea' now running the full version of the programme. and we have even mo re support from the schools and from local industry than ever." says Alistair. "It's only with their help that we can give these students an in-depth look at the range of jobs and skills there are available - which is something mo st if rot all of them were unaware of before."

imagesYouth Into Industry is more than just about creating awareness of the Infrastructure and Civil Contracting Industries. An integral part of the programme is building confidence and learning important life skills.
Alistair talks about how practically every high school student he asks doesn't even know what infrastructure meals. le t alone what kind of career paths the industry has to offer.
"I tell them that its everywhere around them, from the roads and footpaths they get about on to the pipes and drains that 'on under ground. to the work above and below ground for every large building and structure they see."
The induction week was hosted by Kamo Fire Station and comprised five full days of demonstrations, lectures and practical activities there and at various industry sites around Whangarei.
Among the industry areas covered in the induction week. we re a presentation by Northern Civil on Civil Engineering and a look at the different occupations and career paths using material presented by Rayma Fletcher from Intratrain.
The local industry support was mo st apparent by the number of site visits and demonstrations made available throughout the week. These included site visits to Transfield. Truckstops, Maintreight, Hirepool Winstone Aggregates and Cookes.
Among other things, the students were shown how to carry out checks on different plant and equipment prior to and after operating, and taken through and tested on hazard identification and site safety checks, as well as given an understanding of lifting and load restraints.
Health and Safety is a very important issue for the industry and the Youth Into Industry Programme has a strong focus on this. Part of the week's theory included a Civil Site Safety Course facilitated by Peter McInroe from Supna Consultants.
Rachel Woodworth from ACC talked about Injury Prevention and several of the industry visits involve d going through the onsite safety and induction procedures, to give the students a taste of what visiting contractors and new employees need to know.
There was also a talk and demonstration on compliance by John van Pomeren from the NZ Police Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit and a Fire Safety presentation by Cohn Thomson from Wormald.
There was also a section on identifying underground services from BeforeUdig National Manager Stephen Hodgens.
Youth Into Industry is more than just about creating awareness of the Infrastructure and Civil Contracting Industries. An integral part of the programme is building confidence and learning important life skills.
Other topics included Money Matters, presented by IRD's Jules Newman, and Whangarei Branch Manager at the BNZ Bank Jo Boyd on Managing your Money. Angela Pearson from IRD also came Student Marshall Dunn, right. with supervisor Brian Gwyn and spoke about Business Tax Information.
Another important area is the effect of drugs on performance and safety. With the high risk of injuries within the Infrastructure Industry, adding drug use to the mix makes it even more difficult for businesses to manage lost time and serious injuries.
Tania Martin from the New Zealand Drug Detection Agency (NZDDA ) came down and laid it on the line about the industry's zero tolerance for drugs. Students were told how long drugs can stay in a person's system and how they can affect performance and judgement at work as well as in everyday life.
Gateway Coordinators from all three of the schools represented are fully supportive of the programme, which offers a new direction for students who might otherwise not have a clear pathway into employment.
Manager for the Gateway Programme at Kamo High Julie Riggir is very excited about the Youth Into Industry Programme becoming a regular thing each year, "Infrastructure is a strong industry in Northland but it is not one that students think about automatically." says Julie. "The course is extremely well organised, and offers excellent training including papers in NCEA Level 2."
"The number of businesses opening their doors to us and people providing tneir time, expertise and equipment tells us we are on the right track with what the local industry operators are looking for in the way of prequalification of potential employees, says Alistair.
"If we can prepare those Students who want to pursue industry careers for what is expected of them, both onsite and in real life (outside school) then they are more likely to be offered a chance with a company."

Training Our Youth Investing in the Future

Certificates are awarded to students who have achieved

  • working positively towards work placement
  • meeting industry health and safety requirements
  • demonstrating machine/plant pre-start check and operation table level of attitude
  • demonstrating acceptable levels of attitude and attendance
  • operating fire safety extinguisher successfully
  • successful in drug testing (result 100% drug free)
  • being punctual and reliable

Originally Printed: Northern Advocate, June 2012