A solid team is crucial no matter where you work, and the Exterior Plastering industry is no different. We caught up with Manu Toialoa (owner) and Jarrod Small from Redrock Plastering in Christchurch to hear about how their team operates and the apprentice experience in this environment.
Manu says, “We say this all the time - but our team just clicks. They all get along. We laugh, sing, play pranks and have a great onsite culture – especially being majority Polynesian – we stand out, we shine! The team are well trained, and I’m always on site working alongside them, so if there’s an issue or a skill they are stuck on, I’m here to help. My wife and I run the company together with ten staff. I was not trained as an apprentice myself, but when I saw there was an opportunity, I decided to make sure our team was able to upskill and gain an apprenticeship. We also do modules here. I get the team to practice with different textures, so they learn about different materials. They also use their skills to make samples up and explain to the rest of the team what they have made.
Jarrod Small is a member of Manu’s team. He shares the following about his apprenticeship and work life. “I started this journey about two years ago because I wanted to further my career and upskill myself. I’ve been in Plastering for five years now. It was a career I chose out of school, and it’s grown on me. Learning with BCITO is great because we get hands-on training, and being able to take videos of our work makes it so much easier for the guys like us that don’t enjoy writing much. My training advisor is great at communicating with me and giving me feedback. Learning on the job is great because my boss and the team all share their knowledge. It’s a lot better than a classroom. You can do it in your own time and have flexibility. Working with a great team helps me enjoy my days and get more out of learning all the ins and outs.”
Manu shares about training, “I train for peace of mind. Knowing that I have a qualified team working with the apprentices gives me confidence in the Company knowing that we can produce at a high level. It gives each individual the confidence to excel and the motivation to look at other avenues within their role and not feel stuck. The BCITO Training Advisors are great, and they are always working to implement changes in training that are suited to our business. Our goal is to have a fully BCITO-qualified team and put all new staff through an apprenticeship.”
Wood Solutions have been carving out the way for sustainable practices and diversifying their workforce. They are minimising and repurposing waste and create a healthier and more welcoming workplace where 1/4 of their workshop are female.
Jenna Toailoa and her husband Manu's RedRock Plastering has been making a name for themselves with their high quality work all the while taking on apprentices, showing it can be done!