Building sector in safe hands with Gen-Y apprentices

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New research released by the BCITO shows the next generation of New Zealand builders are technology-savvy, professional and passionate about their industry.

The BCITO’s annual customer satisfaction survey late last year asked more than 600 of its apprentices for feedback on job and training satisfaction, internet habits and factors that influenced their career decisions.

According to the survey, 92% of apprentices believe they are learning the right skills for successful career development.
BCITO chief executive Ruma Karaitiana believes the building sector is in safe hands.
“We are seeing a new trend emerging, with 89% of apprentices using the internet on a daily basis, which can be useful for accessing resources to help them with their careers,” Mr Karaitiana says.

“They are utilising everything from social media sites to industry publications, and a quarter are doing it via smart phones.
“With the new licensing legislation now in effect, it is even more important that young tradesmen undergo formal apprenticeships, so it is great to see the level of proactive internet usage by these young men in their own career development.
“This is exactly the type of approach our industry needs in order to lift standards and give New Zealand confidence in their building industry.”

Registered Master Builders Carters 2011 Apprentice of the Year Ryan Keogh says he is a frequent internet user, and believes it is a great way to keep on top of international building trends.
”I am not surprised to see so many apprentices using the internet. A number of young people use it for furthering study and accessing trade material, not to mention networking sites.
“As part of the new licensing laws, we are required to keep up with changing legislation and research trends, so the internet will serve as a powerful tool.”

The research also found that most current apprentices decided to become builders at around the age of 16, which Mr Karaitiana believes shows that the next generation of builders has an early passion for the industry.
“There are a number of apprentices entering the construction sector because of its career development opportunities, which shows the professionalism and foresight of these young people.

“Apprenticeships also enable these young people to earn a wage whilst training, thus staying out of debt, often giving our young builders an edge over more academic pathways. And, of course, many builders these days end up doing diploma or degree-level study down the track anyway,” Mr Karaitiana says.
“It is now up to employers to help train them and develop their skill sets. As the industry picks up, employers will be vying for accomplished practitioners.”

If you are an employer in the construction industry and are looking at putting on an apprentice, the BCITO may be able to help you find the right person.
Simply call 0800 422 486 and they can put you in touch with motivated career-seekers on their national database.