Youthbuild Students and Teachers

Youth build is an initiative of the Housing Industry Association (HIA) in which young people learn and gain practical experience in the building industry while still at secondary school.

Here we will meet with Andrew Clarke the teacher of the program at Sarah Redfern High School and he will talk about the benefits for his students in joining the program.

Three students, Patrick, Alex and Kenape demonstrate some of the skills they have learnt so far and talk about what they enjoy about the program.

About HIA:

The housing industry is one of the most dynamic and diverse industries in Australia, offering a wealth of opportunities for young people to earn high incomes and to enjoy a satisfying career. In the modern housing industry there are many exciting career paths – sales and marketing, IT, design, estimating, trades, law and landscaping to name just a few.

Qualified people in the industry can work anywhere in Australia, and indeed, almost anywhere in the world. There has never been a better time to consider a career in the industry. The demand for skilled tradespeople is unprecedented.

The industry’s need for young talent is escalating. Over the next two years the industry will need an additional 55,000 skilled people.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA), is Australia’s largest industry group representing the residential building industry. With approximately 40,000 members HIA includes large and small builders and contractors, developers, architects, manufacturers and suppliers. The HIA is committed to creating more opportunities for young people to succeed in our industry. The traditional pathway into the industry is the apprenticeship system. HIA already employs more than 1,000 young people through its Group Apprenticeship Scheme.

HIA wants to do even more to encourage young Australians to join the industry. A key part of the solution lies in strengthening the ties between schools and industry. Through the Youthbuild Foundation, Australia’s leading builders, developers and manufacturers of building products and material will support schools adopting an innovative ‘work at school’ approach.

About Andrew:

Andrew Clark teaches the VET course in construction at Sarah Redfern High School. He has been teaching the course for the last 4 years and was a carpenter for 23 years before getting into teaching. He has done work experience kids with him when he was a carpenter – but nothing quite like this!

Andrew is even increasing his own skills base, he is doing a cabinet making course at TAFE to help him with the year 12 major projects. He says furniture making is very different from working on the structures that keep houses upright.

Andrew has year 9, 11 and 12 classes – up to 24 kids in class around but around 12 -15 students in each. He takes the kids out of school to build things for the school such as concrete paths, retaining walls etc.

They have beautified the whole front of the school, pathways, a new water feature and are now working on a veggie garden. The students do all the work by hand. The students enjoy the class there is not a huge amount of theory. Andrew tries to teach the theory through the practical side.

The course is beneficial because if students choose to aim for an apprenticeship and go to TAFE they are have the advantage of a good base of technical skills and a better understanding of potential career paths.


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VJ Bradley Conomy