For this week’s interview, we caught up with a Builders Academy trainer. Georgina Needs teaches our dual Diploma in Building and Construction in Frankston, Victoria. Her students are working on the CPC50220 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) and the CPC50320 Diploma in Building and Construction (Management).

Georgina’s also a full-time project manager working in construction for the hospitality industry. See below for her take on keeping the classroom interesting, making ten-year plans and helping her students get where they want to go.

​”I teach the double diploma course in Building, Construction and Management. The two courses overlap a little—you can’t really do one without the other.”

​”I also work full-time during the day. My current role sees me coordinating and distributing information, and meeting with architects, planners, builders and consultants. I am responsible for all venue maintenance: I work out what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and who’s going to do it. Today I was up at 5am for a meeting at our project in Williamstown, Hellenic Hotel Williamstown. It’s all hands on deck at the moment.”


​”By the time my students get to class they’ve already worked a full day, too. It can be a challenge to keep them focused and interested. I draw diagrams, walk around the room and relate the coursework to actual events or past experiences.”


​”I try to encourage each student to contribute; you don’t learn any new skills by being a passenger!” Student David agrees: “Anything we need to know, we just ask. Everyone bounces ideas around; it’s good to work in a group.”


​Chris, a carpenter building his own house, also appreciates Georgina’s style: “It’s tough to get the work done at home, so I take advantage of nights like these. George has brought chocolate since day one. That’s how she rolls.”


​”I started studying at 36 through an RTO, because I needed to develop a knowledge base to move into the construction industry. I followed a prescribed learning pathway, which led me to RMIT, where I completed my studies in project management with a master’s degree. The experience inspired me, and now I’m helping others achieve their goals. It would be great to see one of my students with a bachelor’s degree and know that I played a small role in changing their life.”


​”This class is completing a combined unit about risk and occupational health and safety. A lot of students work for smaller building companies and haven’t been exposed to the ideas and strategies we cover in the course. It’s when they want to achieve higher results or bigger dreams that it starts to come into play. My motivation is to instil the knowledge necessary to be offered an opportunity.”


​Luke, a construction manager, is doing the course to help his business: “My business partner’s the licence holder at the moment. The end goal is to get my builder’s licence so if anything were to happen to him, the business can keep operating. It’s not like you walk in here knowing everything, so it’s been a really good learning experience.”


​”Many of my students want to move into management roles. They want to get off the tools. Some get to a certain point in their career where their knees and shoulders are sore and they have to upskill to stay in the industry. I teach all ages, from 20 all the way up to 55. I had one wonderful student who was in his 60s. He retired halfway through the course. He had been in the industry his entire life and was still learning new things every day.”


​Lee, a plumber, wants to become a project manager for his company: “My old man was a project manager, and I want to follow in his footsteps.”


​Georgina enjoys seeing the students become more focused and interested over the duration of the course. “They start considering what their life is going to look like when they get their diploma and it’s exciting. I think it’s good for the students to know how proud I am to see them complete their studies. It gives me a sense of achievement and empowers the students.”


​”Have a think about what your life is going to look like in five years’ and then ten years’ time. That’s what I did. I sat back and thought: I’m a dental nurse and the salary I am on now is the salary I will be on for the rest of my career. I realised I couldn’t survive comfortably on that so I looked at my options and started planning. Studying is one of the stepping stones to recession-proofing your future. Get a ten-year plan.”


​”I don’t have much time for interests outside of my work apart from spending time with my daughter. On Sundays, we often stay in our pajamas because it’s the only day we have to veg out.”

Legend. Thanks Georgina! For more info on our Diploma courses in Building and Construction check out our courses  page or give the team a call on 1300 LEGEND.