Monumental Masonry gives back

Jayden Renner-Ellis is the newest Monumental Masonry Apprentice and is employed by Glover Memorials in Wellington.

Ganesh Cherian, the owner of Glover Memorials, says, “We interviewed a couple of people. We enquired at a local high school to see if any students were interested. Sometimes this process is a good way for me and the candidate because we can spend a little bit of time and get to know each other and they can get a feel for the type of work we do. Students come for a trial for a day, but this time round no one showed a keen interest.”


A large percentage of jobs are not advertised so using social media, and industry networks are valuable tools for both employers and prospective employees.

Like a lot of placements, Jayden found his job at Glovers by word-of-mouth. He says, “Mum and Dad are both embalmers and funeral directors, but I like this side of the industry better. Dad asked around to see if any Monumental Masons were looking for an apprentice and Glovers gave me a trial.”

Jayden recognises that many things make the Monumental Masonry trade special. He says, “I like it because it is different every day. There is a whole lot of artwork that you see that you wouldn’t see if you were doing an ordinary apprenticeship like carpentry.”

Like a number of Monumental Masonry companies in New Zealand, Glover Memorials gives back to the community. One of Ganesh’s initiatives is to provide free plaques for stillborn babies. Jayden certainly appreciates working for an organisation that cares. He says, “Making a memorial is something special we can do to help the parents in this situation. It makes you feel like you are doing some social-good coming to work.”

Monumental Masonry differs from other trades under BCITO’s coverage. It is not affected by the same pressures of the construction industry. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t affected by the current skills shortage. 

The timing of Jayden enrolling in his apprenticeship could not have been better. He was eligible for free fees.  Jayden will also be transitioning into the new NZ Certificate in Stonemasonry which is now available. 

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