“Winning the award was an amazing achievement, to be recognised by the industry was a real honour. Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you’ve achieved a goal that you’ve had your heart set on for a long time,” Farquhar says.
Now five years into her glass and glazing career, 22-year-old Farquhar is living in Fielding and working for Central Glass and Aluminium. When she’s not cutting or fitting glass, Charmaine is on the court playing netball and softball or renovating her home which is an old villa.
“I’ve grown since my BCITO apprenticeship; I am now the 2IC at my company and I’ve been training two apprentices which has been a rewarding task. There is a natural culture of mentorship in the trades, I experienced this myself, so it’s been fulfilling to train apprentices within my company,” Farquhar says.
As well as the apprentices she trains day-to-day, Farquhar has been tutoring at the Glass and Glazing Institute in Wellington.
“I was approached a few years ago to tutor, however, I was still an apprentice myself and had a lot on at the time. When they reached out to me again at the end of last year, I was keen to do it. I enjoy the tutoring and it’s something I will continue to do, as I want to encourage more people to consider glass and glazing as a career, as well as support existing apprentices.”
After she graduated from Fielding High School, Farquhar started her career at Viridian Glass in Palmerston North.
“I wanted to get a full-time job after I left school and I managed to land a role at Viridian covering maternity leave for someone in the main office doing admin. It was here I discovered my love for glass, I hadn’t realised how complex glass and glazing can be and how much goes into the installation.
“It’s such an imperative part of a build and is often the pinnacle aspect of a home or building. It’s also a very clean trade and the process is very satisfying as you are essentially creating something out of nothing.”
Farquhar’s advice for anyone considering a BCITO apprenticeship is to just go for it.
“You make great new friends and meet interesting people; you’ll also learn a unique skill set. Apprenticeships are great as you earn as you learn while getting a valuable qualification under your belt,” Farquhar says.
Aotearoa New Zealand needs more people from all backgrounds to consider a career in the trades. BCITO has the resources and support systems in place to ensure everyone has an equal shot at success.