BCITO bridges gap in apprenticeship support

by | Dec 21, 2023

The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) Te Pūkenga has introduced new schemes to help support apprentices and employers. The Critical Skills Apprenticeship Programme and Building Belonging initiative are two ways in which apprentices and employers can access support and help from BCITO as they progress through an apprenticeship.

The Critical Skills Apprenticeship Programme is a joint effort between BCITO and Education Unlimited, which aims to support 15 apprentices from the Te Tai Tokerau region north and south of Whāngarei and the Bay of Islands including Kerikeri, Opua and Russell.

The area’s geographic challenges make it hard for BCITO Training Advisors to visit trainees and provide the necessary support. The Critical Skills Apprenticeship Programme fills this gap.

“We designed five workshops spread across five months, which focused on a range of different things,” said Tina Rose, Director at Education Unlimited. 

“For example, the basics of the BCITO training portal, how to navigate it, and supporting the apprentices to get into good habits with taking/uploading photos onsite. There was also a focus on financial literacy and numeracy, along with discussions around well-being, mindsets, the importance of mental health, and SMART goals.”

Workshops make up the majority of the programme. However, apprentices can also access one-on-one sessions, and those who complete the programme earn a Site Safe Foundation Passport in Building Construction, a GoodYarn mental health awareness certificate, and gain a solid foundation in time management, problem-solving, and workplace communication.

BCITO reported strong feedback from apprentices, with one reportedly saying it was the best day they had had in weeks, and another saying it was helpful to connect with learners in the same position as them. 

BCITO also launched its Building Belonging series of resources for trade employers with aims to create inclusive worksites and a construction and infrastructure sector that works better for everyone. The resources are available thanks to a joint initiative between Waihanga Ara Rau, the Workforce Development Council for Construction and Infrastructure, and BCITO Te Pūkenga.

“We are pleased to offer Building Belonging in response to the upskilling and growth needs of our industry,” said Philip Aldridge, Chief Executive of Waihanga Ara Rau.

“This suite of free resources for trade employers, created with our partner BCITO Te Pūkenga, includes a podcast series, videos, articles, and interactive training modules to help pave the way for more inclusiveness in the trades.”

More information can be accessed at www.bcito.org.nz