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EIT offers army experience to Topline Contracting Academy cadets

September 16, 2022

As part of three-day army experience run by EIT’s School of Technology and Trades, Topline Contracting Academy cadets had to march 12km through the Ruahine Ranges.

Cadets in a local infrastructure job training academy have been given an “army experience”, including a 12km march through the Ruahines, as part of an EIT infrastructure programme.

Todd Rogers, the Head of EIT’s School of Trades and Technology, says his tutors have used similar experiences in other programmes at EIT as it builds leadership and teamwork.

“Employers have identified to us that these characteristics are highly desirable in graduates coming through our programmes. We think that students can benefit from a three-day intensive development course.”

“The aim of this experience was to build a strong team environment and resilience, as well as identifying potential leaders. The cadets attempted a 12km pack march through the Ruahine Ranges, leadership activities throughout the three-day experience and were thrown into a military-type environment where time-management, nutrition and personal organisation were embedded into the daily routine,” says Todd.

Topline Contracting Academy is a 12- week programme run by Topline Contracting and supported by the Ministry of Social Development, the Napier City Council, the Hastings District Council, and Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ).

The academy was the brainchild of Topline Contracting owner and Managing Director Taurus Taurima in a bid to introduce cadets to the infrastructure industry.

Embedded in the academy’s programme is an EIT Level 2 NZ Certificate in Infrastructure Works, which is delivered to cadets onsite.

Taurus says his academy was established to make people who aren’t ready to be employed, employable and putting them into a trade.

“It’s 80% practical based and 20% theory to give them the practical component of what it takes to get into proper employment,” says Taurus.

“The reason I started the academy is that there are so many people that come to me for employment, but that don’t quite fit into the box. They’re either on the unemployment benefit, with Oranga Tamariki or haven’t got the skills to get a job. I can’t employ all of them, so I started the academy

Topline Contracting Academy cadets were given a number of tasks to complete during their three-day army experience run by EIT’s School of Technology and Trades.

with the aim of getting them into work and to help better the lives of our local whānau.”

He says the aim of the academy is not to find employees for Topline, but rather to help the community by teaching previously unemployable people the skills to get a job.

Todd says the army experience is a good way for students to learn more about themselves and their capabilities.

Todd and Trades and Technology tutor, Steve Spooner led the experience, assisted by other Trades and Technology tutors, Clint Whitewood and Campbell Johnston. The students were in good hands with Todd, Steve and Clint all being veterans of New Zealand Defence Forces’ regular forces.

For Taurus, the benefits of EIT’s army experience have been invaluable for his academy.

“It was good. The cadets loved it. It takes them away from the town environment, gives them a sense of what it would be like in a semi army setting. It helps them in their employment development.”