Over 100 'sparky' (electrical) apprentices enter the workforce from Whitireia and WelTec

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A group of 103 students from Whitireia and WelTec (Te Pūkenga) are set to enter the workforce as electrical apprentices having just graduated with the level three New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory.

The one year programme of study has equipped graduates with practical, hands-on knowledge and skills to start them on their journey to becoming qualified electricians. As work-ready grads they have learnt electrical theory and regulations, how to install cables and electrical equipment, along with applying safe procedures in the workplace, readying them to enter into an apprenticeship in the electrical industry.

With huge demand for this work-ready level of skills, graduates have been snapped up by electrical companies such as Seven Electrical, NME, Island Bay Electrical, with some placements coming via the Electrical Contractors Association.

“We had a wide range of both male and female students sign up for the programme last year from colleges all over Wellington including Hutt Valley High School, Newlands College, Wellington College and others, plus a number of mature students, including a 72-year old maintenance worker who wanted to upskill,” says Paul Bowden, a tutor in the electrical programme at WelTec. 

“Once they graduate, part of what we offer at WelTec is advice, contacts and assistance in getting apprenticeships - and we have had significant uptake of graduates into the workplace for this. 

“The grads have taken up roles with a number of electrical companies in a wide variety of places - on new housing projects, large construction sites, commercial and industrial complexes and installing residential heat pumps.

“I have been very impressed with the work ethic of the ākonga (students) and their determination to complete and get into work as soon as possible. Most of them also continued with paid work through their study at supermarkets, in retail or hospitality, with some traveling long distances to classes. It has been very satisfying to see them get their apprenticeship placements so successfully,” says Paul.

Further information on the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Pre-Trade can be found here: https://www.whitireiaweltec.ac.nz/study-programmes/trades/electrical/new-zealand-certificate-in-electrical-pre-trade-level-3/

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