From the checkout to the tools

Vishal Toi Toi is a qualified builder from Tauranga, who recently completed his carpentry apprenticeship through BCITO, a business division of Te Pūkenga. We caught up with Vishal, who was also a finalist in the 2022 National Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year Competition.

In the building and construction sector, there are plenty of opportunities for people who are enthusiastic and willing to learn. After speaking with Vishal, it’s clear that it’s one thing to have the motivation to try something new, but it’s another thing to have people supporting you on that journey.

Vishal had friends who were completing their apprenticeships through BCITO and was impressed by what he heard and saw.

It is a big commitment to do an apprenticeship so, before taking the plunge, Vishal wanted to ensure there were people who would be able to support him.


“Before my apprenticeship, my immediate focus was completing my Diploma in Business. To support myself, I picked kiwifruit and worked as a checkout supervisor at a supermarket. Holding down two jobs while studying was demanding and required good time management. These experiences taught me the value of hard work and that I really enjoy being a part of team.”

“While it sounds clichéd, BCITO’s values really resonated with me. From having taken a good look at BCITO’s website and stories about other apprentices, I knew that I was picking an institution that would be very supportive.”

Vishal’s BCITO Training Advisor, Brendon Honey, is vastly experienced, helping train apprentices on their path to becoming fully qualified.

“From my first day on site – right through to my final months as an apprentice - Brendon was just a phone call away. He went above and beyond to ensure I always felt supported and was on the right path. For Brendon, there is no such thing as a dumb question!”

Vishal enjoys his current workplace, and one of his goals is working toward becoming a lead hand. Further down the line, Vishal also hopes to one day own his own company. What advice does he have for those who might be sitting on the fence about a career in the sector?

“Go for it! Building is a great career. With BCITO, there is on-the-job training, constant support, and the opportunity to meet some great people. Have an open mind, enjoy it, and do not be afraid to ask questions.”

Aotearoa New Zealand wants more people from all backgrounds to consider a career in the trades. To learn more, head to

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