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Keeping their finger on the pulse

  • Cato Bolam

Kiwi land development and planning consultancy Cato Bolam says its partnership with Unitec enables them to ‘keep their finger on the pulse’ of current industry thinking.

Cato Bolam has over four decades of experience and provides a wide range of services including planning, civil engineering, surveying, architecture, environmental and project management. James Renall, a Unitec Alumni and Business Principal at Cato Bolam, says the company has a strong philosophy of business leadership and professional development across all of its disciplines.

“We want Cato Bolam to be at the forefront of innovation and advances in land development practices. We have identified good contacts with tertiary providers as being a key element in keeping our finger on the pulse of the latest industry thinking.”

Cato Bolam’s relationship with Unitec started in 2010, and has had a particular focus around the company hiring students for roles in their architecture, surveying and engineering departments. James says they’ve found Unitec graduates to universally have the training and ability to be able to quickly apply their skills to the projects they are given to perform.

“We’ve recently hired around five graduates from Unitec into full time roles. We don’t believe in the internship thing - we like to pay people for the value they add. A lot of our architects come from Unitec, as well as engineers, and we’ve found them to be really practical - they understand the level of skill and application needed to perform to our high standards.”

Cato Bolam also gives back by attending Unitec’s open days and speaking to current students and graduates about what opportunities exist in the industry.

“Recently we went to the Unitec Engineering Connect event and set up a stall. We find we get a lot of interest at these events and have gone on to hire many grads as a result. Unitec even has a property development course, so we speak to people from a wide range of degrees.

“Once people are on board with us they enter our graduate programme, which includes ongoing professional development, a performance monitoring programme and a mentoring/support structure.

“We firmly believe that having a relationship with tertiary institutions is a win-win for businesses. Our partnership with Unitec is something we really value and we’d like to further build on it moving forward.”

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