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Growing better by building together

Follow the action as students team up to build a little house that will make a big difference.

Growing better by building together

TAFE NSW building design, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical students are building a two-bedroom house. Provident Project Management's 'The House That Youth Built’ will then be transported to the Sydney HIA Home Show for auction, with all profits from the sale being donated to the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

Meet Bastian (pictured above); he's in his third year of carpentry and joinery at TAFE NSW, is working towards his builder's license, and is loving the project.


Changing courses from uni to TAFE NSW

Bastian originally did engineering and commerce at university, but just found the environment unrewarding.

“At uni, I just really struggled to not be so hands-on,” says Bastian. “I found that my part-time work as a builder or a labourer at the time was a lot more enjoyable."

“At uni, I really wasn't seeing any accomplishment to what I was doing.”

Working and studying

He says studying at TAFE NSW is just "really supportive".

"Plus I find that each year that I'm going on, I'm really learning a lot more. Like each year goes on from the ground up, and now I'm on to the point where I can essentially do everything at work and be confident in my work. And that's all because of TAFE NSW.”

It's almost moving time 

"So this little project we've got going on," says Bastian, "it's a smaller scale, full house with all the same aspects of your electrical, your plumbing and plus your carpentry fit-out."

He says that although it's on a smaller scale, it gives the owner the opportunity to have a real, livable and functioning house. And, of course, the student builders can concentrate on the same skills.

"And plus the added factor that it's movable!"

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Learning to work in a real team

As a part of 'The House That Youth Built’ project, TAFE NSW students are receiving input from design consultants and subcontractors - you can see some of the 3D illustrations of the design in this article. Under the guidance of PBS Building, they will be constructing an actual house. The house will then be transported to the Sydney HIA Home Show for auction, with all profits from the sale being donated to the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

Educators value the teamwork approach

“Working on the construction of a house gives the TAFE NSW students – from across the building industry – the opportunity to come together and further develop their practical skills and work experience,” says TAFE NSW construction expert, Tom Hore.

Tom says it’s all experience that translates directly into the workforce: from the hands on skills, to the liaising with other contractors and stakeholders.

Students are loving the project

Ethan Scotney, a 17-year-old Diploma of Building Design student at TAFE NSW, is working on the house design that has been provided by architecture students at Western Sydney University.

“I’ve always loved designing and working with CAD software so it’s great to use what I’ve been learning at TAFE NSW to create something that is going to support others,” says Ethan, pictured (he's on the right).

“It’s been a really great, hands-on experience. I have worked closely with my TAFE NSW teachers and the builders at PBS Building which has helped me to get the design right and to understand the correct materials to use.”

It’s inspiring and it builds careers

Nicola Stokes, CEO of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation, says the project is inspirational on many levels.

“I find it inspiring,” says Nicola, “to think that a house designed and built by young people will in turn help to save and change the lives of other young people”.

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