Build a Bach supporters speak

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Andrew Pepper, head of Pepper Construction, says the building industry is reliant on projects like Build a Bach.  He says students who have gone through the programme are emerging at the level of a second year apprentice because the bulk of their learning is on the job, not in the classroom.

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Pace Modular director Lew Dickie is one another of Build a Bach’s biggest fans, and has donated kitchen storage each year. He recalls that in the first year of Build a Bach timing wasn’t quite right, and his staff effectively installed the kitchen.  This is year three, and things are running a lot more smoothly… the students will be delivered a flat pack from his company and it will be up to them to complete the job.

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Wayne Bloor is not the only sponsor or tutor who has gone through the WITT process at a student. He left school in the early 90s to start a pre-trade carpentry course at the then Taranaki Polytech.  “It  paved the way as a starting point to where I am today,” – and of supporting Build a Bach, “I thought I was given the perfect opportunity to give something back as a thank you to Witt, Chris the tutor and Taranaki Futures for still making this course available to Taranaki”.

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Another former WITT student, Rebecca Hayman, is the Build a Bach cake baker – Hayman QS Ltd   provides support for the programme by drawing up the recipe for each bach – determining how much is needed of everything. “I did some papers at WITT and when we were asked if we would like to be involved in Build a Bach and give something back, we jumped at the opportunity.”

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Steve Needham, from You Needham Electrical in Stratford has donated his time for the last two years to oversee the wiring of the Build a Bach projects and says he sees it as an opportunity to assist young people in a local project, and give students who might have an interesting in becoming an electrician some experience of the work.

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Libby Baird says the success in selling the 2016 Build a Bach building is what makes her love her job so much. Libby, from McDonald’s Real Estate, helped negotiate the sale of the new home. And she did the same job when the first bach was completed in 2014. As nice to be approached in the first place, and just great to be able to get a buyer,” she said. “I really believe in the Build a Bach programme – and I think it’s great that all the students involved will be able to drive past the building sold this year and say: I helped build that.’’

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Students are given a tour around Timberco in New Plymouth’s Sunley St early in the Build a Bach process to see where the trusses and framing for their building are pre-nailed. Owner David Leuthardt has supported the programme since its inception and says he likes the way it provides students with opportunities they might not otherwise get.  

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