After an initial career in logging, Regan Wharehinga moved his young family and partner from Gisborne to Lower Hutt. Following a short temping job for at Mike's Glass Ltd in Petone, he was asked if he had ever considered a career in the industry. "I liked the challenge and variety of the work so decided to give it a go," says Regan.
Regan says he is the first in his family to be involved in the construction industry and is keen to graduate with his Level 4, Glass & Glazing qualification.
He learnt so much at his first Glass & Glazing off-job training course at the Glass & Glazing Institute of New Zealand (GGINZ). Regan says, "I was never good at bookwork at school, I was much better at the practical stuff but the tutors were really helpful and made learning fun. It was great meeting the other apprentices and being able to work together on the projects." Regan is looking forward to learning about other glass installation processes such as showers at his next course.
Regan likes to be organised so enjoys the technology Mike’s Glass use to schedule jobs to be done. He also believes in giving a helping hand to his workmates and likes to jump in and help them whenever possible.
He has a busy schedule with fitting in work, family life and he is also a keen rugby player. Playing sport helps him keep fit which is really helpful on the job when it comes to moving large materials. "Sometimes, it’s hard to find time to study with a young family around, so I just head down to the library for an hour to get some of the bookwork done," says Regan.
Getting into a trade has meant setting himself up for life. Reagan aspires to have a glazing business one day, which he and his partner can work in together, be mortgage-free and have the time to watch their kids sport and school activities.
Female trade apprentices are loving their career choice, but few considered a career in building or construction while they were at school, research shows.
Brad Gemmell qualified as a bricklayer at 21 years of age and hopped on a plane to London, ready to put his skills to the test. He returned to New Zealand a few years later and began his own business, Brad the Brickie Ltd in Wanaka.