An advertisement in her high school notices was the spark that ignited Samantha Morris’s passion for creating sustainable communities. Samantha read that Keystone Trust was offering scholarships to study towards a degree in property and construction, and with the encouragement of her careers counsellor, she applied. Thanks to Keystone, Samantha is now a fourth-year student looking forward to a career in engineering.
With the help of sponsors like Ignite, the Trust assists students whose financial situation or other circumstances have made it difficult to pursue their dreams of working in the property industries. Tertiary students from across New Zealand are given scholarships, mentoring and development opportunities. Students visit sites around New Zealand twice a year and meet key industry figures and alumni, providing them with a network of great connections that will stand them in good stead for future employment.
Through Keystone, Samantha was awarded $5000 per year for three years to study, and says she now has much more knowledge about the whole property sector. She was paired with two mentors, one to guide her on assignments, and another from within the industry to provide advice on the sector and what to expect. While she was nervous at first about attending awards and networking events, she is now grateful for the confidence this has provided, including greater confidence about embarking on her future career.
Samantha says more businesses need to support organisations like Keystone, something we definitely agree with. Ignite is passionate about giving students opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have through our partnership with Keystone Trust.
With construction booming in New Zealand, as well as the Government’s KiwiBuild Programme, we need to ensure more young people are entering the construction, architecture, engineering and property industries. We also need to make sure that those who do are equipped with the right skills for the job.
On March 8, 2018, we hosted Keystone students at the EntX site on Colombo St, Christchurch, where we’re developing a new landmark entertainment and dining complex in partnership with Calder Stewart. One of these students was Samantha.
At EntX, Samantha and her fellow students were shown around by Ignite’s Jamie Irvine and Calder Stewart’s Matt Peterson – something Keystone general manager Victoria McArthur says they’d been requesting ever since they learned about the project, a highly anticipated addition to the Christchurch rebuild. The students donned hard hats and were led through the site while being provided with insights about how construction sites (especially inner-city sites like EntX) are managed, and around cinema design.
Site visits like this give students the chance to see how their learning is applied in the field and understand the needs of clients at all stages of planning, design, construction and property management. Because Keystone assists students from across the property and construction sector, they not only get new perspectives from the experts on the ground, but also from each other.
By supporting the many young people involved with Keystone, companies like Ignite are helping to ensure the sustainability of New Zealand’s property and construction sectors. Our success is built on developing exceptional people to deliver exceptional designs, who will carry the responsibility of leading our profession and our industry into the future. Three quarters of the students visiting EntX were female – not only appropriate on International Women’s Day, but a sign that the pipeline of talent is widening.
We’re proud to support Keystone in giving talented young people of both genders a step up into the architecture and construction industries, and we look forward to helping many more through site visits, internships and development workshops. Great design begins with great people, and with the help of the Trust, we can ensure New Zealand’s construction sector is in safe hands.