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  • Cole Carpentry

How Cole turned his passion for building and carpentry into a full-time job.

12 April 2022

Growing up on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, Cole Moore had a passion for building and carpentry from a young age.

“I grew up in Pauanui Beach, and my dad was a builder, so I would often accompany him onto his sites. I remember him building our second house in Pauanui and me helping him. He worked mostly outdoors with clean timber and I would get to use some of his tools. These were the experiences that shaped my love for carpentry.”

When it came to choosing his career path, Moore was clear on where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do. He completed the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4) through the ITAB system at Unitec in July 2021. He recalls his time at Unitec as being an essential part of his life, with attention to detail and precision being a huge focus during his study.

“I had great tutors from Unitec and supervisors from ITAB throughout my four years, which made a huge difference. They all had excellent knowledge of the field, so you take in as much as you can as a learner. The general knowledge skills and learning about the building standards NZ3604 was significant and helped me with the two-hour exam which strictly focused on this component.”

During his time at Unitec Cole competed in the NZCB Apprentice Challenge, an annual event where carpentry apprentices from all around New Zealand compete in an eight-hour competition to build a unique project from the ground up. In 2021, Cole was voted the top apprentice for Central Auckland.

“I remember the judges deliberating for a long time, which meant that the scorecards were very close. When they announced my name, I was shocked and wasn’t sure if that was my name – it was a surreal feeling. I was happy and grateful to be named the winner in the regional finals.”

Cole Moore now works for Kiwi Construction Ltd, which is heavily focused on renovations, alternations and extensions. “A few of the projects I have been working on include refurbishing older villas and bungalow-styled homes and extensions. One job, in particular, is an out-of-the-ground pool and spa in Mt Eden. The spa pool has been challenging as there is basalt volcanic rock throughout the site making excavations for foundations, slabs and deck piles much harder. It is the tricky jobs I find myself enjoying the most. There is a sense of achievement and satisfaction when completing the job and looking at the finished product.”

Unitec’s track record of a successful practical and industrial based teaching style means students like Cole are held in high regard by their employers.

Martin Smith, Director & Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) at Kiwi Construction, says, “When I have approached Unitec, through Leni from iTabs, I always ask for students who bring effort and enthusiasm to our potential team and show ability to undertake and carry out assignments promptly. The practical ability I can teach anyone, but I cannot teach effort and enthusiasm - individuals either have it or not. And most of the time, if you are passionate about the construction industry, you will always have these two important points that we look for at Kiwi Construction.

“I love the dedication of the Unitec students, who show a genuine willingness to learn and apply their trade skills that we, as the LBP’s within the company, strive to achieve in order to create beautiful and elegant homes for our clients. I have noticed that the Unitec students can do tasks exceptionally well and to trade like standard within a few years of starting. They even push me to work smarter and learn something new from them every day.

“These students and graduates are punctual, hard-working, polite and respectful around clients, which is critical. This is a testimony to the standards that Unitec and Kiwi Construction set out to achieve. I’d highly recommend any other trade companies seriously considering future Unitec graduates. You won’t be disappointed, and it will be money and time well spent teaching them the trade.”

Cole concludes, “For anyone out there thinking of studying building and carpentry at Unitec, give it a shot. Go in with your arms wide and soak everything in. Ask lots of questions, share and tell stories, and have a laugh along the way. Challenges are part of the journey, and things might seem hard at first, but once you start putting in the effort, the easier they will become.”