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Most students can only dream of leaving school early and walking into the career that they have always wanted.
But that’s exactly what Clayton Anderson did, with the help of NMIT and Nelson construction company Gibbons Naylor.
He aspired to one day be a builder, so he signed up for the Trades Academy at NMIT while he was still at Waimea College.
The Trades Academy is for students who want to stay in school to complete NCEA, but are ready to start training for a real job.
Clayton would attend the Trades Academy on Fridays, working towards a National Certificate in Trades, while going to school the rest of the week.
Trades Academy students work in NMIT’s carpentry barn and enclosed construction yard where they learn real-world skills that prepare them for jobs, apprenticeships or further study.
Students learn skills like making pre-framed walls, installing windows, hanging doors, and how to interpret plans and create drawings for building projects.
They are also given a lot of freedom to pursue their own projects and a highlight for Clayton was building a large kennel for his hunting dogs at home.
Clayton was quickly identified as a student who showed a lot of promise, both in terms of his practical skills and attitude.
Trades Academy tutor Richard Shepherd knew that Gibbons Naylor was looking for a new apprentice and so he recommended Clayton.
At the age of 16, Clayton started as an apprentice with Gibbons Naylor while studying for the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4) at NMIT.
“It's pretty rare. There's probably only two or three learners that I've come across at that age in the last five years that had the ability to do that,” says NMIT Construction Tutor Steve McIntyre.
“It is a big step to go from school to industry. We were happy to help Clayton get there.”
Clayton says he enjoys the balance of completing his online portfolio and learning new practical skills at NMIT.
He says that Gibbons Naylor has also been really supportive during the first year of his apprenticeship.
“They help you through and put you with the right guys, match you with people with skills they can teach you. We also get hearing checks, skin checks and a dental plan.”
Learn more about the Trades Academy here.(external link)
Learn more about the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry, Level 4 here.