Supporting employers to get apprentices to the finish line

BCITO | Te Pūkenga

Supporting employers to get apprentices to the finish line

Supporting those who support others

BCITO, an industry training organisation that oversees apprenticeships in the building and construction sector, identified an issue. Many apprentices and trainees get ‘stuck’ and don’t complete their apprenticeships, often because of problems with numeracy and literacy. Many employers are keen to help, but don’t necessarily know how. We designed a series of short modules for employers and managers. Each module has practical take-aways employers can use to help their apprentices learn and get to the next stage of their training.

Timely learning

Employers and managers who are asking the question “How can I help my apprentices move forward?” have already made the first step. So the modules we created had to be about keeping them on that track and getting a foundation of knowledge in their business. A big hurdle to overcome was time: busy foremen can’t take a long break from the tools to open a laptop and complete an online module.

We developed nine short learning modules that can each be completed on a smartphone during a smoko break. It’s a great way of giving immediate tools to people with immediate problems.

Practical tools for educating

We also came at this project from the perspective of wanting to deliver usable information. Construction industry professionals are practical people, and they want solutions they can start implementing right away. If an apprentice is struggling with their training because they don’t have a high level of reading, writing and mathematics, there are helpful strategies to support them that don’t have to include going back to school. The modules give employers techniques for explaining tasks and communicating effectively with apprentices.

Appropriate Māori design

BCITO falls under the umbrella of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, which has an active push to include Māori language and design in materials. This project was an opportunity for us to partner with a kaupapa Māori creative agency named Ariki Creative which has the skills and knowledge to create beautiful Māori symbolism and designs that are suitable for this online learning material.

It’s important to BCITO that the mana of these designs and modules continues to be protected. The ongoing relationship with Ariki Creative means that the symbols and designs will be used in culturally appropriate ways.

A new partnership

This was our first time working with Ariki Creative, and it has been a fantastic experience for us. The Ariki team’s designs are stunning, and they generously shared their the knowledge with the project team. As there is an ever-growing demand for authentic Māori design and imagery in Aotearoa organisations, we hope to collaborate with Ariki again on future projects, both with BCITO and others.

“For my first time working on a project like this the Like-minded staff guided us extremely well all the way through. They were flexible to our requirements yet firm when needed to keep the project moving. Our finished products are fantastic.”

Andrew Donohue
Education & Quality Manager, BCITO

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