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New Trades Campus a Shot in the Arm for Construction Industry

Auckland’s skills-hungry construction sector is about to get a big boost, thanks to a brand new trades training campus, which opens in Manukau this month.

Aspire2 Trades Wiri CampusAspire2 Trades is a 4000 square metre purpose-built facility which will deliver training in high demand areas such as welding, painting, CAD (Computer Aided Design) and forklift operations. Set to accommodate around 500 students each year, the new campus will help tackle the critical skills shortage in trades (construction, allied and engineering), and provide pathways for those looking to launch sustainable careers in the sector.

According to Aspire2’s Nick Yerni, the new campus will bring big benefits to South Auckland, delivering fresh skills and employment pathways to an area that needs it most.

“There is such a huge shortage of skilled trades staff, and we are having to bring people in from overseas to cope with the demand. We need to be equipping locals with the skills for these roles,” Yerni says.

“Construction, associated businesses, distribution and engineering are booming in South Auckland and the employment opportunities out here are significant.”

According to Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry forecasts, one in five new jobs created between 2016 and 2019 would be in construction, and Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) estimates 30,000 construction workers will be needed in two years’ time. That means big opportunities for those wanting to launch trades careers.

Aspire2 Trades will focus strongly on Maori and Pasifika learners, and will also work with migrant and refugee communities to help equip them with the skills to transition into the workforce. Plus, says Yerni, they’ll focus on women in trades, delivering programmes that equally support both genders, and encourage more females to launch careers in construction.

“We will take learners with no previous construction sector experience and in 20 weeks will equip them with the skills they need to secure an entry level job in the industry or gain an apprenticeship.”

Owned by Aspire2 Group, the new campus will incorporate the highly successful NZ Welding School and Cornerstone Education programmes. Kitted-out with the latest technology for practical learning, in an environment that replicates the worksite, Aspire2 Trades will deliver hands-on training that meets current industry needs. They’ll also support students to transition into the workforce through Aspire2 Work.

“The new campus is designed to be very flexible, and respond to employer needs – if there is a high demand for a specific trade at any time, we will be able to offer a targeted programme in a very short time-frame. We will be providing work-ready tradespeople and apprentices to an industry that is screaming out for skilled staff. In fact, we’ve already got trades employers lining up for our graduates!”

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