Student made minibikes now road ready

News News & events

28 Nov 2018

Construction of their minibikes now complete, a class of Ara students are celebrating their hard work and are excited to take their new wheels for a spin.

Ara Tutor John Edwards is proud of the work his ten students have put in to build their own bikes. “This project really tests their abilities in both engineering and automotive components. They’ve all learnt skills across the board including welding, fabrication, machining, material bending, fitting, and motor assembly.”

The students are from the New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills- Introduction to Automotive and Engineering- a level 2 pre-trade course that aims to provide 16-19 year old students with the core skills and practical experiences to help them discover careers in the engineering and automotive industries.

Edwards says, “The overall goal with this programme is to eventually get more qualified tradespeople into local workplaces here in South Canterbury.”

The class with their own minibikes 

The outcome of this year’s programme is looking bright, as all of the ten students intend to continue on to a level 3 trades course in 2019. Following the level 2 New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills students can choose further specialised study in automotive, general engineering and engineering strands in fabrication or welding.

Jon Smith, a 17-year old student of the course says he has enjoyed “learning new skills for automotive and engineering and using equipment for welding and machining to create the bike.”

Jon Smith can't wait to test his bike out 

Timaru Mayor, Damon Odey says it’s great to see young people exploring local career opportunities.

“Quite often there’s a perception that we all have to leave home for something better. So I think exposure and hands-on training at a lower level is really important because it sets people up on a career path, which can vary as they go through.”

“Timaru has some of the largest primary and secondary manufacturing companies in the district, and there’s a high demand for trained and skilled workpeople,” Odey says. “Local companies are investing greatly in new technology, equipment and plant, and it always takes ongoing training and upskilling to make sure we have the right workforce to go into those roles.”

“A lot of students are leaving school not 100% sure what they want to do for a career. Here at Ara Trades we provide opportunities for people to explore trade options while gaining practical skills,” says Peter Sauer, Manager of Automotive and Autobody.

Ara provides a broad range of trades training in the areas of motor industry, engineering, construction and electrical trades. There are opportunities for young students to explore trades by combining NCEA and tertiary study through STAR courses, or Youth Guarantee and Dual Enrolment programmes.

Next year to meet the growing needs of local industry Ara will launch new Level 4 Managed Apprenticeships in the Engineering Trades at the Timaru campus. These are the New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Trade) (Level 4), and the New Zealand Certificate in Engineering Fabrication (Trade) (Level 4).