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Doug the Digger' creator Alistair McIntyre is getting Whangarei teens interested in infrastructure with his new Youth Into Industry programme

From left, Youth Into Industry trainer Brian Gwyn; Youth Into Industry founder Alistair McIntyre; Alister Clyma , Kamo High student; Leo Lloyd, Tikipunga High student (seated); Peter McInroe of Supna Consultants; Ngaro Baker, Whangarei Boys High student; Kris Gravatt, Kamo High student; Reece Bermingham, Whangarei Boys High student; Billy Steventon, Kamo High student; Marshall Dunn

As the driving force behind the scheme, Alistair McIntyre has brought together a group of local industry operators and experts to create a foundation course for high school students interested in pursuing a career in civil contracting and infrastructure. His enthusiasm and passion for the industry has proved to be an inspiration for both students and industry representatives and it all began with a love for big machines.
imagesYouth Into Industry is like a taste of real life in the industry and a way of discovering the huge diversity of the transport and Civil sectors. From operator to engineer to transport logistics - they're huge. It gives students a clearer picture they would not normally see

With a civil engineer for a dad, McIntyre got plenty of exposure to diggers and trucks. He got into contracting early but a serious accident at the age of 25 exposed him to the fact that he only knew how to do one thing and his injuries were likely to take all that away from him.
Unable to work, McIntyre eventually found new direction with his 'Doug the Digger' children's books. These in turn led him to becoming an ambassador for Duffy Books in Homes and he now has his own programme for visiting schools to encourage literacy and numeracy, showing up in his bright blue Kenworth truck with a real live 'Doug': a 'Little Cutie' CAT digger, courtesy of Gough Caterpillar.
McIntyre's ability to reach kids and inspire them to 'do their paperwork' and learn the safety procedures before they can get to the 'cool stuff' - operating a full-sized digger - has made him an icon among primary school aged kids all over New Zealand.
But this wasn't enough for McIntyre. He wanted to find a way to keep helping kids as they entered the next phase of their lives - the crucial high school years - where so many students lose motivation and simply drift through school.
With the help of some good friends and key industry contacts, McIntyre launched Youth Into Industry: a programme designed for high school aged youths to introduce them to the possibility pursuing a career in civil construction and infrastructure.