NorthTec’s Carpentry Students’ First-Time Success with Steel Framing

NorthTec, Whangarei, June 2020

Central Steel Framing (CSF) manufactured and supplied light steel trusses for the use of NorthTec’s Certificate in Carpentry courses. Assembling the truss components were part of the learning, and was a great hands-on experience for the students, who had no prior experience with steel framing.

NorthTec is a tertiary educational institute based in Whangarei, New Zealand. Mark Pearson is the ITAB Co-ordinator and teaches students who are completing their NZ Certificate in Carpentry.

Mark thought it was important and relevant to include steel construction as part of NorthTec’s carpentry apprenticeship courses. We were pleased to supply the truss components for the students to assemble, which gave them the opportunity to learn about steel framing. The truss components were manufactured in the CSF factory by Howick’s dedicated FRAMA 4200 truss system and transported to NorthTec.

Assembling the trusses proved to be a success for the students. Mark shared with us that “these guys are just starting their second year. We let them at it without any instruction - told them we had never assembled them ourselves. They charged in and worked it all out in really good time and were chuffed with the result. None of them had any previous experience with steel frame.”

Mark added that “this is a great learning exercise for our guys on a system we see more and more of onsite. The latest New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry has requirements around steel framing so this resource is much appreciated.”

Assembling the trusses was a great educational experience which enriched the students’ knowledge on steel framing. The light steel trusses produced with Howick technology are self-locating and fit together like Lego sets, which, as the students discovered, makes assembly fast and efficient. This allowed the students to quickly assemble and erect the trusses without any prior experience with steel framing.

With the growing interest and demand in light steel construction, this knowledge will prove to be valuable in these future apprentices’ careers.