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High school students from across Northland got a taste of life in the trades when they took part in a special open day at NorthTec.
The Future Trades Day saw 50 students converge on NorthTec’s specialist trades campus in Dyer Street, Whangarei, to try their hand at different skills including carpentry and welding.
Students were offered the choice of workshops in mechanical or electrical engineering, automotive studies, construction, carpentry and architectural technology. Each chose two subjects to give them a fun, hands-on learning experience and help them decide if a career in trades is right for them.
Those attending came from Tauraroa Area School, Kamo High School, Bream Bay College, Kaitaia College, Kaitaia Abundant Life School, Dargaville High School, Whangarei Girls’ High School, Bay of Islands College and Pompallier College.
Each workshop began with a health and safety briefing, before students got stuck into their tasks, which included making a wooden toolbox, doing some basic welding and carrying out car repairs.
Students Shontel Cook and Antoinette Albert, both from Whangarei Girls’ High School, said they decided to go along and give the Future Trades Day a try because they were interested in a career working with their hands. Taking part in the construction and carpentry workshops, they said they were not put off by the fact that trades tend to be dominated by males.
Ngamihi Greenwood, also from Whangarei Girls’ High, and Cameron Leijen, from Tauraroa Area School, both impressed their tutors in the construction workshop by rapidly and efficiently putting together their wooden toolboxes.
Rhiannon Reti, NorthTec’s Youth Marketing Coordinator, said the day was a fun event which gave school students in years 12 and 13 the opportunity to tour the Future Trades campus and find out about the various trades-related programmes on offer.
She said: “We hope to see some of them come back as NorthTec students when they leave school. It’s also a chance to find out what these trades are about, and get an idea of what type of career would suit them best. The best way to find out where your skills lie is to get out there and give things a try.”
NorthTec is also running a Beauty Day, for school students interested in the hair and beauty industry, and hopes to hold arts workshops in the future, for those with creative talents.