Meet Shonni, your new Apprentice Leader

Shonni Proebstel of Waikato Frame and Truss Ltd, Cambridge, joins the 2024/2025 BCITO Apprentice Leadership Group. Shonni’s partnership with BCITO is part of the next intake of apprentice leaders in the Frame and Truss 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.

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At 20 years of age, Shonni is exactly where she was always meant to be, even if it wasn’t an obvious choice. Initially aspiring to become an early childhood teacher, she was drawn to building work for its hands-on nature and physical activity. Her mum suggested pursuing building, knowing she could return to early childhood education at any time.

After completing college, Shonni briefly worked in hospitality before joining her two brothers at Waikato Frame and Truss in early 2022. Recognizing her potential, her employer, Brendon, wasted no time in offering her a formal apprenticeship. A year into her apprenticeship, Shonni has become the go-to person for training incoming apprentices.

Shonni says, “Although I find building trusses challenging and puzzling, completing them fills me with pride. Despite the difficulties, I persevere and feel a sense of accomplishment. In school, I built a dartboard cabinet, enjoying the intricate joins and seeing the finished product impress both students and teachers. I hope to return to cabinet or furniture making in the future, as it’s a passion I’d love to pursue.”

Shonni believes being at your best in your trade means being both physically and mentally fit. She stays active by playing netball and softball almost every evening after work. Being part of a team and staying active really energizes her. Her competitive streak keeps her motivated, and she always brings her A-game.

Shonni holds personal reflection and growth in high regard, seeing them as essential components of her journey. She excitedly joins the BCITO apprentice leader circle, keen to learn more about herself and others. Shonni is determined not to let anxiety dictate her actions and is eager to see the progress of the apprentice leaders of 2024/2025 from start to finish.

Shonni joins Ashleigh Bush of Steinemann Construction and Design Ltd, the first Frame and Truss apprentice leader, as the second voice for apprentices in the Frame and Truss 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 Shonni! Ready to make some awesome changes to support all Frame and Truss 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.