Starting small may lead students to bigger things

Students at the Dunedin Training Centre will learn how to build tiny houses to set them up for...
Students at the Dunedin Training Centre will learn how to build tiny houses to set them up for the world of work. Training centre owner-operator Leisa Roos is flanked by primary industries graduate Shane Broad (left) and Ben Frew, an instructor at the centre. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Learning how to build tiny houses could set up Dunedin trainee builders for bigger things.

The Dunedin Training Centre will offer a new Level 3 course from next month and the idea is that building tiny houses will give graduates a broad range of skills and they could then apply for apprenticeships, gain entry-level employment or go on to more study.

Training centre owner-operators Norm and Leisa Roos said the skills needed for building tiny houses should transfer well to employment in the building industry.

Mr Roos said he had been mulling the idea for a while.

"We looked at designing a panel home ... energy-efficient, low impact, low cost."

The idea developed into building tiny homes and Mr Roos had a friend who built them.

Their advantages included their portability and that they could be used in various ways, as well as for teaching.

The couple have a farm in Central Otago and they could see how the houses could be used as little baches.

Participants in the 14-week certificate in building, construction and allied trade skills would sketch designs, choose materials and complete the practical tasks together.

The course was initially scheduled to start this month but has been delayed until June 15 because of the coronavirus crisis.

"We’ve had quite a bit of interest," Mr Roos said.

The centre has a contract with the Ministry of Social Development and more students have been flowing into the trades nationally.

The sector had a further boost in this year’s Budget, which provided a $1.6billion package to boost apprenticeships and industry training.

That would help people retrain amid job losses resulting from fallout from the pandemic.

 - by Grant Miller

Add a Comment





Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter