Two aspiring leaders selected for Antarctic Apprent-ICE

Antarctica New Zealand and Certified Builders Association of New Zealand, in conjunction with ITAB and BCITO, are excited to confirm two very talented Apprent-ICE placements to support New Zealand’s southern-most construction project at Scott Base, Antarctica.

Blake McDonald and Peter O’Sullivan, both of Dunedin have been selected for the three month Apprent-ICE programme as a result of a New Zealand-wide search which began in October 2014. They will depart for Antarctica this week.

The Apprent-ICE programme provides up and coming building industry leaders with the opportunity to work in one of the most extreme environments on the planet and will help raise public awareness of the importance of the work New Zealand does in Antarctica.

The initial search was focussed on selecting one up-and-coming industry leader who is passionate about complex construction and able to demonstrate strong health, safety and environmental values. However, the calibre of the large number of Antarctic Apprent-ICE applications received was so high that the opportunity was extended to two successful applicants.

Blake and Peter will live and work at Scott Base from 15 January 2015 – 18 April 2015 supporting the major reconfiguration of the Hillary Field Centre (HFC). This $4 million project will be completed over the next two construction seasons enhancing both the quality of Antarctica New Zealand’s science facilities in Antarctica and New Zealand’s position as a leader in terms of science capability on ice.

Pre-deployment training began on 8 January for the 17-strong HFC Project Team. This training includes extreme weather survival, the significance and fragility of the Antarctic environment, and the policies and procedures which govern work in Antarctica. They will also undergo two intensive days of fire training in Christchurch and further job-specific and survival training once they arrive at Scott Base.

Part of the HFC Project Team will return to Christchurch in April 2015, a month later than most of the summer staff. The Apprent-ICEs will have a unique opportunity to see what life at Scott Base is like during the start of the winter season with near constant darkness during the day. A smaller team will continue to work on the project, returning to New Zealand in October.

As the only building association in New Zealand that requires all its members to be trade-qualified for membership, Certified Builders Association of New Zealand actively supports apprenticeship schemes and professional development, which helps to fulfil its objective of fostering best practice so consumers can have confidence in the industry.

Antarctica New Zealand is proud to have teamed-up with Certified Builders and industry training partners ITAB and BCITO to develop sustainable leadership opportunities through short-term professional development projects in Antarctica.

Both Apprent-ICEs will actively engage in outreach activities to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Keep an eye on social media platforms over the coming months to learn more.

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