Wintec’s carpentry students eye-opening day assembling steel framing

Rollforming Services (RFS) and Central Steel Framing (CSF) teamed up to help Wintec’s (Waikato Institute of Technology) carpentry apprentice students learn how to assemble steel frame walls. Students discovered the benefits of steel framing and the experience opened their eyes to the possibility of working with steel framing in the future.

Wintec’s ITAB (Industry Training Association Building) apprentice students work full time in the building industry and attend Wintec to complete the theory towards the NZ Certificate in Carpentry. Students are required to learn about steel-framed houses as part of the curriculum.

Alan Warburton is the carpentry tutor for Wintec’s ITAB. His goal was to teach his students more about steel framing and the benefits by giving students the chance to build a steel-framed wall. With the growth of light steel framing in the construction industry, this is an essential topic for the apprentices to cover.

CSF manufactured and supplied components for two steel frame walls for the students to assemble. Alan expressed that he “wanted to provide an opportunity to complete not just the theory of steel framing but have a practical aspect, and CSF has provided us with that opportunity.” To support students on the day, Mark Armstrong, steel specialist from RFS, provided the training.

After listening to Mark’s instructions, the students had a go at constructing the steel frame walls. They quickly discovered how fast and easy it is to assemble steel framing, due to the self-locating and jigging nature of the components and were surprised by the dimensional accuracy.

The future carpenters thought steel was a great way to build and asked lots of great questions. One student shared with us how they “didn’t realise steel framing was used for residential housing.” Alan recounted that “the apprentices really enjoyed the whole experience, and it opened their eyes to the potential of using steel framing in the future.”

This practical experience helped students discover the benefits of steel framing and gain practical skills which they can take into their careers. The students had so much fun with the hands-on experience they didn’t want the session to end. “The worst part was stacking up to pack away,” said one student.

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