Construction is one of New Zealand’s biggest industries and predicted to grow for some time to come. Large and increasingly sophisticated building projects need well trained and qualified staff to run smoothly and efficiently - or risk costly mistakes.
Ara Institute of Canterbury has responded to this increasing complexity in the construction sector by launching new qualifications that prepare graduates with the critical thinking skills and initiative to lead the way as construction managers and quantity surveyors.
The new Bachelor of Construction, specialising in construction management or quantity surveying, and Graduate Diplomas in Quantity Surveying (QS) and Construction Management (CM) (Level 7) have been approved to commence in 2018.
Programme Leader at Ara Keith Power has many years of experience in quantity surveying and in teaching. “The construction industry told us this is what they need,” he said. “Construction is changing very rapidly with new technology and systems. Construction companies are increasing their productivity on increasingly complex jobs. Staff need to be better equipped for the future.”
“Most of the construction company employers, and a lot of their staff, have passed through Ara or its predecessor CPIT. We are trusted to train quantity surveyors and construction managers for the realities of the construction industry. Running a building site, or managing the cost of a project, means dealing with the materials, staff, sub-contractors and technology – it is increasingly innovative, and there are new ways of setting projects up from the very start. Our qualifications take graduates a step further to really future proof their work with courses such as advanced contracting and law, cost planning and BIM (Building Information Modelling), property development, plus elective choices that allow students to choose the specialised areas they would like to explore.”
The new qualifications are flexible to allow for part time study while working by using a blended delivery approach with online learning and two-day block courses. Full time study is also available using work-integrated industry placements to provide students with experience in an industry setting.
Ara will continue to offer the New Zealand Diploma in Construction and Power expects many diploma graduates to upgrade to the degree. Those qualified in other areas, such as civil engineering, can enrol in the graduate diploma to move into specialising in CM or QS.
It worth investing in upskilling, he says. “There are excellent employment prospects in QS and CM. The construction industry has moved on from the boom and bust, cyclical nature of the past, to steadier workflows forecast for the future.”