Walter is a stand out apprentice because of his current achievements, general positive attitude and his work standards as a whole which is a sentiment shared by all those involved in his apprenticeship.
Walter immigrated to New Zealand with his family from Papua New Guinea when he was 7 years old when his mother decided to seek out a better education for her children. However, it wasn’t until High School that he developed an interest in the trade after talking to his school careers advisor.
He pursued this interest and accepted a job offer from Lindsay Gagen who had approached the High School looking for workers. A signup into an apprenticeship soon followed, making Walter the only Brick and Block laying apprentice of Papua New Guinean descent in New Zealand.
When asked what he enjoys about the job itself Walter says, “Most of all I enjoy visiting a variety of work sites, working outside and the hands on work”. In his apprenticeship he has also enjoyed the block courses and the relationship he has built with his training advisor. In the future Walter intends to become licensed and to one day own his own business.
Walter is a huge advocate for Brick and Block Laying having already encouraged four of his friends to join the trade as well. One of those friends is now undertaking the first year of their own Brick and Block Laying apprenticeship. He is an excellent role model and a great example of who the industry needs to attract in greater numbers moving forward.
Comparing data readily available from IRD shows that the average qualified carpenter at age 28 is actually $120,448 better off than a law graduate. But money's not everything.
The number of Kiwis engaging in building and construction apprenticeships is at record highs, as the industry’s demand for skilled workers continues to surge.