Ryol Fern - Senior Apprentice
What drew you to carpentry?
I didn’t have many other interests at school except for woodworking and maths, and I liked the idea of working with my hands! So I decided to leave school early and enrol in the pre-trade programme to further develop my skills.
What did you like about the pre-trade programme?
It was a really good stepping-stone from high school to full-time work. We were in class from nine to three, four days a week. You get out everything you put in, so as long as you apply yourself, you’re good. I loved learning from my tutors, they helped push me in the right direction and had a lot of knowledge to share.
What does a day in the life of a Senior Apprentice at NZ Proud look like?
Every day is different. We do everything from the foundations to the finishing touches, which gives me a wide range of experience. My favourite thing to do is the finishing touches, like skirting boards and handrails, as you have to be very precise.
Everyone helps everyone, even the junior apprentices have knowledge to share with the team. Our bosses will drop in from time to time to help out. It’s a good positive culture.
What do you like most about your job?
Everything really, working outside, working with my hands, and being able to step back at the end of the day and see what we’ve done. I enjoy doing residential work, because you know everyone and there’s more diversity in the work. Plus, the clients are always really grateful.
How did the pre-trade programme prepare you for an apprenticeship?
We learnt all the basic skills, how to cut straight and how to use all the tools. It gives you a big step up with getting into a job.
What’s next for you?
My focus for now is to get qualified! After that I want to stay at NZ Proud for a bit, because even after you’re qualified there’s still heaps to learn. Plus, you learn how to teach people which is really valuable.
What would you say to someone considering studying carpentry?
Just do it. It can take some time, but as long as you’re willing to learn and apply yourself, your skills will develop.
Study Carpentry at WelTec
Learn the culture and processes of a worksite. Work with a range of materials and tools currently being used by industry. Become proficient in health and safety. Refine your skills with the help of our experienced tutors.