Contractor Training

Youth careers day at MOTAT

On Wednesday 24 June, a group of year 11 to 13 high school students were given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of the construction, civil engineering, trucking and agriculture industries at MOTAT.

Sheraleigh Waru Papakura High School with Alistair McIntyre.
Sheraleigh Waru of Papakura High School with Alistair McIntyre.

SUPPORTED BY COMPANIES from various industry sectors, this partnership between the schools, MOTAT and corporates, is an innovative way to engage the students in a safe, supportive worksite environment and offer them a valuable insight into potential career options. Here they can find out how it really feels to be a member of the New Zealand workforce.

Presented by Alistair McIntyre, the author of popular children’s book Doug the Digger and founder of the Youth into Industry initiative, the programme gets the important messages across – the importance of a good educational foundation, making healthy choices and developing life skills – in a fun and interactive way.

McIntyre has made it his life’s work to entertain, inspire and educate others through his own experiences and he is committed to encouraging young people into employment.

He notes, “Many students who struggle with traditional learning methods are at-risk youth who could easily hit a downward spiral” however, he explains “these youngsters can quickly be brought back on course if given the opportunity to connect with learning methods which they understand and can relate to. This serves to raise their confidence levels and ultimately leads to them becoming positive members of society.”

Simon from Tai Poutini Digger School explains the plate compator to William Kaihe and Roy Potaha Papakura HS.
Simon from Tai Poutini Digger School explains the plate compactor to William Kaihe and Roy Potaha of Papakura HS.

MOTAT education and experience programme manager, Brent Hemi, says, “MOTAT is constantly seeking to collaborate with organisations such as Youth into Industry to showcase its transport and technology collection in a creative and hands-on way. It’s through programmes like this that the museum can educate students on New Zealand’s proud history of ingenuity as well as inspire them to become the innovators of the future.”

To ensure students know exactly what is expected of them in the workplace, Industry Careers Day includes a toolbox meeting at the start of the workshop. The importance of applying themselves with a positive attitude to learn skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic is emphasised in order to give students the best possible opportunity of gaining future employment.

One of the many advantages of Industry Careers Day is that students get to meet real people working daily across various industries; this helps them to understand the expectations of employers and allows them to make informed decisions regarding their future career paths and what they need to do to achieve their personal goals.

During the course of the day students will gain experience in several disciplines including health and safety compliance, workplace safety awareness, weights and measures and vehicle safety compliance. They will also learn more about the operation of mini excavators and other industrial equipment.

“Each category will consist of interactive activities and industry representatives will be on-hand to share their expertise and help students complete the associated paperwork,” says McIntyre.


  • MOTAT is currently working closely with McIntyre and secondary schools around Auckland to determine which student groups would benefit from attending Industry Careers Day at MOTAT.

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