Introducing Joshua, your new Apprentice Leader

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Josh Gautron of A World of Stone, Tauranga, joins the 2024/2025 BCITO Apprentice Leadership Group. Josh’s partnership with BCITO is part of the next intake of apprentice leaders in the Stonemasonry sector, highlighting BCITO’s commitment to empowering and involving apprentices in shaping their learning experiences. The group, initiated in 2023, is a progressive approach to fostering collaboration and communication at the grassroots level within the construction trades.

At 24, Josh's life story reads like an exhilarating adventure. His journey into stonemasonry began at age 12 when his father, Paul Gautron, introduced him and his sister to the craft during school breaks. Those early days were spent mixing cement and moving stones, laying the foundation for what would become Josh's passion.

After spending four years in the New Zealand Army as a combat engineer, specializing in bomb detection and disposal, Josh found himself reassessing his career path due to the impact of COVID-19 on job opportunities in his field. It wasn't until he left the army that he rediscovered stonemasonry, a trade deeply rooted in his family history as a fifth-generation stonemason. Starting his formal apprenticeship in 2022, Josh realized that working with stone was not only rewarding but also a source of pride in continuing his family legacy.

In late 2023, Josh was entrusted with his first major project: a large wraparound fireplace with intricate details. Managing the project's layout, sharing his knowledge with fellow masons, and liaising with builders and clients marked a significant milestone in his career. Josh is driven not only by the work itself but also by the knowledge that one day, he will pass on his skills and expertise to future generations.

Passionate about education and leadership, Josh advocates for comprehensive training in stonemasonry, emphasizing the importance of craftsmanship and fundamental building practices. He knows that leadership in the civilian world differs from the military and sees the apprentice leader role as an opportunity to foster skill and knowledge-sharing among stonemasonry apprentices, ensuring consistency and success in the trade.

Outside of work, Josh indulges in his hobbies, from rebuilding motorcycles to competing in computer gaming, snowboarding, surfing, and martial arts. His adventurous spirit extends beyond the workplace, driving him to explore new horizons and embrace life's diverse experiences.

Josh joins Finn Gallagher-Forbes of Bosworth Stone Ltd, the first Stonemasonry apprentice leader, as the second voice for apprentices in the Stonemasonry sector. They’re part of a dynamic cohort of 30 apprentice leaders, which includes 15 new additions, featuring two representatives from each BCITO-mandated trade.

The structure of the program, with a term of 24 months and a new cohort recruited every 12 months, ensures a continuous influx of fresh perspectives and ideas.

The emphasis on forming authentic partnerships between leaders, employers, industry, and BCITO is crucial for creating a supportive and effective learning environment.

We’re excited to team up with Josh! Ready to make some awesome changes to support all Stonemasonry apprentices.

If you’d like to know more about the apprentice leader program and how to support it, please contact Verina Jones, Advocate for the Learner Voice.