Māori apprentice a great role model

Recently Industry Advocate for Glass and Glazing, Neil Hirini, had the pleasure of talking to apprentice, Kevin Ruri-Gardiner, from Chris Smith Glass Limited in Rotorua.

                              Kevin Glass Apprentice

Kevin’s enthusiasm and passion for his newly chosen career in Glass and Glazing is highly evident in discussions with him. He is a wonderful example of exactly who is needed in the Glass and Glazing workforce now and in the future. He is currently completing his National Certificate in Glazing – Level 4.  

Kevin started working in the Glass and Glazing industry after he returned to Rotorua after working in the mines in Australia. He came home to support his whanau. When asked why he chose to move into the industry he shared, “I pretty much got into it through a mate who talked to me about it. He told me to have a talk with Chris. I then did a couple of days with him which lead to a 90-day trial and then he offered me an apprenticeship”.

Kevin is thoroughly appreciative of the support he is getting for his apprenticeship in his workplace. “My team is good. Everyone tries to help me out. I just try to learn what I can from each person. I mostly spend time with the senior glaziers.” He also appreciates the support given by his BCITO training advisor. Kevin says, “If I get stuck I can just give him a text and he’ll call in. Otherwise he just comes around every couple of months or so”.

Another dimension to his training that Kevin is appreciating is the Block Courses at the Glass and Glazing Institute of NZ in Lower Hutt. “I enjoy the hands-on learning and it’s good to have a lot of the knowledge theory behind you as well.”

Kevin intends to stick with Glass and Glazing as he likes the work and the variety within it. He enjoys who he is working with and learning new things every day.  He is also enjoying being home with his whanau. 

Kevin is a wonderful role model for other apprentices in the Glass and Glazing sector. He is also a great role model for young Māori in pursuit of an exciting and rewarding career.

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