Whitireia and WelTec wahine construction grads snapped up by the sector

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Graduates from Whitireia and WelTec’s School of Construction and Trades were recently celebrated by friends and whānau at a year-end graduation event in Petone. For most of the students, paid work had already started earlier that week, with significant demand from construction companies for work-ready starters.

The level 3 Certificate in Construction Trade Skills offered by Whitireia and WelTec covers the areas of carpentry, plumbing, gasfitting, drainlaying painting, tiling and plastering, and graduates complete their courses having had hands-on experience, making them ready to start on the job immediately.

Laila Wyllie, a carpentry graduate from this year, has already secured a project coordinator role on a construction project in Christchurch for a Government department.

Prior to enrolling at WelTec, Laila had been at a desk job doing project coordination, but had always loved working with her hands and liked the idea of construction.

“I have done project coordination in an office context and wanted to put this experience to work on a construction site, but knew I needed some sector experience so enrolled in the trades at WelTec,” says Laila. “The tutors here are so knowledgeable and my advice to any students is, make the most of your time here and ask lots of questions as the tutors have great experience.”

Toni (left) who studied plastering and Laila (right) who studied carpentry, attending the end of year celebrations.

Laila has aspirations for project management in construction and encourages other female students to think about the sector as a pathway to exciting careers.

Toni Wade, who graduated with a level 3 certificate in plastering, has also jumped straight from her study into employment.

While raising her children Toni had done work in hospitality, and services such as cleaning and childcare, but wanted to move away from these areas and learn a skill that could earn her more money for the family.

Toni enrolled in plastering and is excited to be starting her new job on-site in central Wellington plastering in a multi-level high rise building for Quick Start Plastering.

“Thanks to an introduction by the tutors at WelTec, I did work experience at Quick Start while I was studying this year, and that has been key to securing a permanent position,” says Toni. “I was extremely nervous when I first started the work experience at Quick Start and I really doubted myself. I had never done plastering before, and I was so worried I would get things wrong. But the tutors at WelTec were extremely supportive and encouraging, and it is really thanks to their belief in me that I stuck it out, got the work experience, and now the full-time job.”

Toni now only has a teenager at home and feels proud that she has been a role model to her daughter. “I have walked the talk and proven that if you stick with your goals, you can make anything happen.”

Further information on construction trades at WelTec and Whitireia can be found here: https://www.whitireiaweltec.ac.nz/study-programmes/trades/

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