Teaching old skills to new students
Students at a Marlborough campus are being taught centuries-old skills in a bid to entice more people to sign up.
Trades Academy students at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), in Blenheim, are being taught the ancient art of boat building.
Carpentry tutor Alan Barnes has been passing on the benefit of his 20 years’ experience as a professional boat builder.
He says he hopes the taster course will help net more students keen to follow suit, following a drop in numbers over recent years.
‘‘It’s not just here in Marlborough but nationwide, there’s a shortage of qualified trades people at a time when we need them most. align the skills needed in each area.
It is the first time the Blenheim campus has offered boat-building in the pre-trades course.
Three pram dinghies made from plywood are gradually taking shape as three teams of students build them by hand.
the 20-kilogram dinghies will be encased in fibre glass before being fitted with outboard motors. The class will then get the chance to take them out on the water.
Alan says he has seen a ‘‘positive change’’ in some of the students already.
‘‘Within the first three weeks I saw a change. Those that were more timid are gaining more confidence and coming out of their shells a bit now,’’ he says.
Student Jessie Smith, one of three girls in the 16-strong class, says she loves the ‘‘hands-on’’ approach.
‘‘I’ve never done any carpentry before in my life and it’s great fun.
‘‘There’s a lot to learn but I’m really enjoying myself.
‘‘Everyone works well together and we have a good time. I really like the fact that these are skills I can use later on, no matter what I decide to do.
‘‘I am especially interested in the automotive part as I love cars but the carpentry has been really interesting,’’ she says.
Trades Academy student Jessie Smith likes that she will be able to use her carpentry skills later in life.