2005 has been a busy year for the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) which has continued to meet industry demands for skilled workers, and is on track to meet its target of 10,000 apprentices in training by early 2007. More than 8000 apprentices are now registered in training, up from 6500 in 2004.
These increases prompted BCITO to expand its operational structure and open a regional office in Albany, Auckland, and a satellite office in Hastings. Industry licensing The BCITO is up to date with proposed industry licensing requirements and is working to ensure its qualifications meet the final license criteria.
It is also establishing pathways for those in the industry to obtain a national qualification and take steps towards getting the appropriate class of license. Qualifications Several new qualifications have been registered by the BCITO as it continues to raise the bar on the quality of training available in the construction sector.
Numbers in training The number of apprentices in training increased across all construction sectors during 2005. A record number of 557 sign-ups were recorded in March, and in April the BCITO celebrated its 7000th apprentice in training, David Angus from Astor Construction in Auckland.
As at October 31, there were 8109 apprentices registered with the BCITO. Marketing and awareness campaign The inaugural Building Careers Week was held from September 17 to 25 to raise awareness of careers in the construction industry.
The campaign centred on two key concepts — “The Future is In Your Hands” and “The Choice is Yours” and included a nationwide billboard campaign, radio advertising, posters, articles in local newspapers and a school building competition.
A highlight of the campaign was a school building competition involving nine secondary schools nationwide. Students designed and built dog kennels and the finished product was then donated to the local SPCA.
As a direct result of the activity during September the BCITO noted a 75% increase in web site hits and an increase in calls to its 0800 number. The BCITO’s web site, www.bcito.org.nz, was re-launched with a fresh new look.
It is now more user-friendly and provides simple access to relevant, accurate information on qualifications in the construction industry and up-to-date BCITO news. Customer Service Staff recruitment has continued to meet the servicing requirements of an increased client base. The number of field staff increased from 45 at the end of 2004 to 55 at the time of writing.
Off-job training The BCITO has a comprehensive off-job training strategy, providing eligible trainees with assistance for the theory component of their qualifi cation. During 2005, the BCITO contracted 21 providers at 26 venues nationwide to offer training for some 1100 trainees at a cost of approximately $750,000 (up 36% from 2004).
Twelve providers now offer the programme which is a mix of day release and night classes. Research commissioned As part of its commitment to being a leader in industry training, the BCITO commissioned research into key areas during the year, including:
• BRANZ econometric overview,
• Workbase Literacy and Numeracy Report,
• CBA Consulting focus group research on trade choices, and
• Spreading the word on construction careers/training.
The findings of the research provided valuable feedback for the BCITO and interactions with schools going forward in 2006.