WHO: Tuiti Hui (Nga Puhi, Ngati Porou / Cook Island)
JOB: Apprentice Builder, Gubb Builders (through the Unitec Apprenticeship Training Trust)
Certificate in Applied Technology (Carpentry)
Currently completing Diploma in Applied Technology (Building)
FINAL YEAR OF STUDY: 2009
WHY: "I’ve always enjoyed building – I was brought up around it. I enjoy looking at a structure and understand all the different components, and then try to replicate it. My favourite part of this job is working on older homes, additions and alterations. Trying to make something look as if it was always there requires skills. One of the highlights of my career so far was doing so well in the Third Year Apprentice Challenge 2011 – I won the Auckland regionals and placed third in the national finals. I’m very proud of myself, especially considering I’m only in the second year of my apprenticeship. Now I plan to complete my apprenticeship and go out on my own for a while. I’m hoping to start my own business in time, and maybe go to Aussie or the Islands for some work. I hope to be building most of my working life!"
WORDS OF ADVICE:
"Don’t do it if you’re trying to impress someone. Do it because you have some enthusiasm for the trade. Building doesn’t feel like work if you really enjoy it. And if you really love putting your name to something, love working in an active environment, and want a paid workout, building is the right career choice. My Unitec qualifications are so relevant to what I do – I don’t think I could ever be more than a hammer hand on the building site if I didn’t have my qualifications. I love coming to Unitec once a week, having a day off from my apprenticeship to complete the theory units I’ll need to become a qualified builder. It’s interesting to explore why we’re building something in certain ways and what other options there are."