“For us, the ultimate goal is having a highly skilled team with strong ethics and morals, who can complete every project to a very high standard,” says Jenna.
“We invest time in training, and creating trust between our team members, including our apprentices, as we understand the importance of a strong team in delivering quality work. We do things other companies might not, like awarding Employee of the Month and organising team activities like playing paintball, car racing, pizza, and beer Fridays. The upshot is that our workers enjoy each other’s company and love coming to work each day.”
Jenna and the team understands that training apprentices isn’t a “one size fits all” approach and different tactics need to be used to ensure they feel supported.
“When training apprentices, patience is number one. It’s a really rewarding process. We love watching the apprentices become more confident and comfortable at work, especially when left to work through a task on their own. We also just had five apprentices graduate at the same time, which was really exciting,” she says.
RedRock currently has three BCITO, Te Pūkenga apprentices in training, and another four people who are working towards getting signed up.
One of these apprentices is Caden Hayward, who’s stepfather brought him into the trade after he finished studying.
“RedRock has been a great place for me to do my apprenticeship, everyone is really patient and there is an understanding that people don’t necessarily learn things straight away and people absorb information in different ways.” Says Caden.
Caden’s main piece of advice for apprentices is to always just give it a go.
“If you make a mistake, that’s fine, as it’s often the best way to learn. Plastering’s not the easiest and cleanest work, but you’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of it, especially once you step back and look at the completed project. What’s important is to find a team that you get along with, as that also makes the job great,” he says.
Jess Nielsen stands out as a trailblazer after placing third at the 20th Annual Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition; the first woman to place and the second ever to reach the national competition.
You may be aware of the Government’s intention to disestablish Te Pūkenga | New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.