Tylah’s story: Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) and Mechanical Engineering Trades graduate

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After moving from creative media, to tiling, to panel beating, Tylah finally made the switch to Mechanical Engineering Trades, where she found her love for welding. Thanks to being eligible for aMPTT scholarship, Tylah was gifted tools, overalls, gloves, and help to get her drivers license. Now, Tylah is working at Lead Fabrication in Upper Hutt, where she gets to work on pieces that are used all over the New Zealand 

What does a day in your life look like? 

Interpreting drawings, cutting and moving pieces of metal, clamping them together, and mostly, welding! I like seeing the finished product, seeing the usable item that was once just a pile of metal.  

We’ve made barriers for Naenae train station, basketball hoops for the Kura Kaupapa Māori in Alicetown, and pieces for the Interislander. There’s always something different. 

What type of welding do you do? 

We do MIG and stick welding. MIG is a more automated type of welding, but you still need a fair amount of patience and control. Being precise is important, and the heat from welding can warp the metal, so you’ve got to clamp your pieces together well.  

Why did you decide to study Mech. Engineering Trades? 

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to study! I had tried tiling and creative media, but I didn’t love either of them. I originally signed up for panel beating, but a couple of weeks into the programme when we started welding, my tutors were impressed by my ability and encouraged me to switch to Mechanical Engineering Trades.  

How did the Māori and Pacifika Trades Training scholarship help you? 

I was gifted tools, overalls, and gloves, and my course costs were completely covered. One of the most helpful things was getting my driver's license through Te Ati Awa. The Tamaiti Whāngai team arranged lessons, and I was able to borrow a car to take my test.  

Find out more about the Māori and Pacific Trades Training (MPTT) scholarship → 

MPTT recipients receive a wide range of support. The Tamaiti Whāngai team will support you with mentoring, goal setting, pastoral and cultural support, and you'll have the opportunity to get your drivers license, site safe and first aid certificates. 

How was your study experience? 

I made a good group of friends that I still keep in touch with. Our strengths and weaknesses complimented each other, so it was a great group to work on assignments with.  

We were in class just three days a week, so we could work the other days of the week if we wanted to. I did DeliverEasy at the time so I could choose how much work I had.  

What would you say to a woman thinking about entering the trades? 

Do it! Once you give it a go, you might find you like it. I brought my sister-in-law into the workshop because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, and she ended up loving it. Now she wants to be a builder or a mechanic.  

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