BUILDING capacity within the local road construction industry is key in sustainably developing the country's infrastructure.

Realising this, Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH) is facilitating 18 Fiji National University (FNU) engineering students who are receiving on-the-job experience with the company.

The new student intake is a follow up to the previous successful attachments of Fijian FNU students with the roading company.

The 18 FNU second year Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) students comprise of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu nationals who have gone through the mandatory safety induction with FHH.

"It's a wonderful initiative for these students. The work they will see being done and the processes followed should give them some insight into what this industry is all about and what they can expect in their own careers," said FHH general manager Duncan Fraser in a statement.

As the students are working on a case study focused on running a construction project, they have been allowed access to worksites as visitors only, to observe and report, with FHH staff assisting them with any queries.

According to group team leader and class representative from the Solomon Islands Francis Chottu, the attachment has availed the opportunity to see how lab-based experiments are carried out in real life.

This, he said, included actual scenario information based on an existing construction site.

"We get to see the importance of working as a team amongst the FHH staff and between FHH staff with their subcontractors; the need for personal protective equipment to be worn on any construction site," he said.

"Different machine types and their operation on worksites and the safety rules to follow when operating each machine."

Source: The Fiji Times Online