Civil Construction Careers Day – 5 April 2023

What a great day for local Nelson Tasman students and staff exploring the world of Civil Construction!

NRDA’s Vocational Coordinator, Ange (in partnership with Civil Contractors NZ), organised a Civil Construction Tour as a part of the Education to Employment programme.  The career exploration day was a great success, as students from Motueka High, Nayland College, Garin College, Nelson College and Nelson College for Girls came together for a busy day visiting Civil Construction sites throughout the Nelson Tasman region.

First stop was the impressive Nelson Water Treatment Plant – Richard from Fulton Hogan gave a comprehensive tour. Students discovered where the region’s water originates and learned about the significance of keeping it safe for consumption.  The plant, built in 2004, has a remarkable built-in filtering system, which the water travels through to ensure that its pH level is ideal for killing bacteria and making it consumable.  The students learnt about the diverse range of career opportunities available, from mechanical and fabrication apprenticeships to water treatment.

Next stop was the busy Clarence Drive Extension site – Fulton Hogan Project Managers Thomas and Hamish guided students through the site, where diggers, trucks, and earthworks in motion.  They explained how new roads and subdivisions are created to expand and improve cities, offering valuable insights into the world of civil construction.  They also provided a detailed rundown of the various roles available, a first-hand look at the different tasks involved and what it takes to land these positions.  The students were impressed by the many benefits of working at Fulton Hogan, including the attractive pay and other opportunities on offer.

Then it was on to the Coastal View Retirement Village – Schick Civil Construction have been working on this significant project since 2020, with a multimillion-dollar budget.  The tour was led by Project Manager Hamish and Site Manager Zane, who shared with the students the different stages of the project, giving them an opportunity to witness civil construction first-hand.  The project started with rough, uneven land that was unsuitable for building, but through the skilled work of the Schick team, roads were created, and the land was smoothed out to create an appropriate environment for the retirement village.  The tour also highlighted the importance of teamwork in carrying out such a large-scale project, with various roles being assigned and executed.  The Managers emphasised the high demand for skilled construction workers in the industry, along with the long-term job security it offers.

After a lunch stop in the sun at Saxton field the journey continued to Fulton Hogans Appleby Crushing Plant.  James and Wayne gave students a close-up tour of the process of collecting rocks and turning them into small stones that are then used to form roads and for other essential construction projects.  The students were fascinated as they watched the massive machines at work, churning out stones that are critical in building a better future for our communities.  The tour provided them with a unique perspective on the vital role that the construction industry plays in shaping our world, and how every small stone can make a significant impact.

The final stop for the day was the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Bell Island.  This was definitely a memorable experience for the students, even if they won’t forget the distinct smell anytime soon.  Jason from Nelmac quickly reassured them that his team works with the waste, not in it!  Jason shared all the essential processes involved in separating the waste from the water, and how the broken-down waste is then taken to Rabbit Island, where it is reintroduced into the environment.  The students were surprised at the level of detail and care involved in the wastewater management process and how it plays a critical role in the health of our environment.

Overall, it was an excellent day for the students, who were given the unique opportunity to witness real-life jobs in action.  They were inspired by the various job opportunities available in the civil construction industry and left with a deeper appreciation for the vital work carried out by the teams involved in keeping our communities safe and thriving.

Check out last years event here