Mehul recently completed the Level 4 Certificate in Carpentry, a programme designed to be completed alongside an apprenticeship, which allows ākonga to become fully qualified carpenters. He had also studied Architectural Technology before that, picking up technical drawing skills, and an understanding of residential and commercial services. Now Mehul is the General Manager at Apex Property Solutions, wearing many hats throughout the day—site supervisor, estimator, and project manager.
What do you love about your job?
I like that you can build almost whatever you can imagine, and I love the result. I love seeing an empty site turn into a house, and seeing the client’s faces when they first walk into their new home, knowing that we did that.
What does a day in your life look like?
I look after two teams. In the morning I drop into one of the sites where team A is working and explain what needs to happen at that work site for the day.
I will then head over to the other site where I mentor two apprentices. I will be on the tools throughout the day and with what little time I can scrape away I work off the laptop or phone to keep up with the requests coming through from other clients and the operations manager. After the tool belt is packed away, I jump on the computer to work on producing quotes for future works.
What led you to study the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry?
I liked that WelTec had night classes and gave me the push to get my work completed on time.
What made you choose WelTec?
I liked the lengths of the courses. It felt reasonable to get out into the industry within a few years where you can start getting real-life experience, compared to 4-5 years of university studies.
What was the learning environment like at WelTec?
Studying at WelTec was refreshing. The tutors are exceptional at what they do and they genuinely love the topic they are teaching. My architecture teacher would do weatherproofing experiments at home, and my first-year architecture teacher had memorized NZS3604 (The New Zealand standard for timber-framed buildings), which was amazing. They were even able to find me a job before I had finished my final paper.
Did you learn anything invaluable while studying that has really helped you in your career?
Everything I learned at WelTec was practical knowledge that the industry was using at the time. When I started my career, I constantly found myself saying that I finally understood what that meant, or I could follow a conversation because I had already learned the terminology at WelTec.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently helping a friend start up his construction business but soon I plan on growing my own construction company with my brother who is an architectural technician. We’re aiming to create custom houses that are above and beyond the standard home you find in the Wellington area.
Where did your passion for the construction industry start?
I think my passion for building started when I was a little kid, back in India we were always playing outside. I loved building tree houses out of sticks and rope, climbing trees and playing tag. When I came to New Zealand, I had the opportunity to learn graphic design and woodworking, so I just decided to put the two together.
Tell me a bit about your background
I moved to New Zealand with my family in 2007 and settled in Lower Hutt. At high school, I focused on graphic design and woodworking. I wanted to become an architect, but I learned too late that I needed to be good at calculus and physics. I learnt that at WelTec you could gain the skills to design houses and in half the time it would take at university, so I signed up for their architectural design and quantity surveying programme.
What would you say to someone considering studying Carpentry at WelTec?
Stay focused! All information is useful information.
Study Carpentry at WelTec
Whether you want to sample the trades at high school, learn the basics, get fully qualified whilst you work full-time, or step up into a supervisor role, we’ve got the programme for you.