Doorways2Construction students to build again

LOCAL students and the wider community have benefited greatly from the Doorways 2Construction program at Naracoorte High School.

Jordan Borg successussfully graduated from Year 12 last year with a Certificate I, II and part of a Certificate III in Carpentry thanks to the subject.

He was then able to secure a building apprenticeship with JD and HA Bunnik in Naracoorte last November.

Jordan said that out of the seven students inducted into "Doorways" at the same time as him, the majority now had apprenticeships.

One has started his career in cabinet making, one in plumbing and four, including himself, in building.

"I potentially knocked off two-and-a-half years of theory with 'Doorways'," he told the Herald.

"My apprenticeship still goes for four years but I just don't have to go to trade school.

"I think it was very beneficial. Like any certificate once you have it you've got it for life and can use it."

Jordan started Doorways2Construction half-way through Year 10 and was involved in the construction of a transportable house, which was later sold at auction.

Trainer Emily Griggs was supported by local builder Jim Vine for the duration of the build - teaching students all the required trade skills.

"It was a big-scale project," Jordan said.

"To start and have everything to do with it and then get it sold was a pretty amazing thing.

"A lot of trades people were happy to sponsor it, they were happy to help us on that learning curve."

Jordan said it wasn't just building and trade skills he was able to take away from Doorways2Construction.

"Rocking up every week because you had to have a 100 per cent attendance rate, showing initiative, doing work experience with other builders and other trades, working a 40 hour week not just an eight hour day," he said.

"It was compulsory for every semester in 'Doorways' to do two weeks of work experience...I did my first one with Jo Bunnik and now have my apprenticeship with him."

What's happening in 2014?

This year Doorways2Construction is looking to do another major project with the support of the community.

Instead of doing an auction this time around, there will be a pre-sale of a transportable building to drive the program.

Major sponsor Ottoson Partners Real Estate has jumped on board again to help make this possible, working in conjunction with Westley DiGiorgio Commercial and Property Lawyers.

Principal Neil Ottoson encouraged anyone interested to come forward with ideas of what they would like to see built.

"This year we want to pre-sell the transportable before construction to enable the purchasers to have more input in the finished product," he said.

"It will be a transportable; however, it doesn't have to be a home.

"It could be an office, an on-site building for a construction site, a farm building...a beach house, a lifestyle cabin for the nature lover, a granny flat.

"There is a real possibility to vary the project."

Mr Ottoson will discuss the options with interested clients and give them a price guide to work with.

He said, as an example, that a three bedroom home with a laundry, bathroom, modern kitchen and general open areas completed with everything from carpets to electrical work would cost around $80,000.

Some applicants may also be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant - a government initiative which offers financial assistance of up to $15,000 - if they are planning to live in the property for a minimum of six months after it is built.

Mr Ottoson believed Doorways2Construction was a very worthwhile project which he was happy to support.

"We are very happy to give our time and effort to try and help young people in Naracoorte with their careers," he said.

"We did many inspections on the transportable house over the course of last year...it was great to see the maturity of the students grow from the start to the end of the project."

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