Budding sparky Matt has just celebrated his first year under the Kāinga Ora apprenticeship programme, and couldn’t be happier.

“It’s great to be in a job where I’m learning all the time,” the 29-year-old says.

Based in Christchurch, Matt entered work experience early last year, and initially had his heart set on becoming a builder.

“I got a two-week placement doing electrical work and found out I enjoyed it a lot more than building. After that I started an apprenticeship with Wright Wire Electrical.”

His boss, Craig Wright, Director of Wright Wire Electrical, says he’s extremely pleased with his apprentice. “Matt’s brilliant. I think he just needed an opportunity to prove himself, and he’s done that far and beyond.”

Like many employers, Craig says the Alert Level 4 lockdown brought its challenges, but he prefers to look on the bright side.

“It’s given us a chance to pause and reflect on what’s really important – family, friends and finding balance.”

Electrician fitting a plug in a wall

Matt at work with Wright Wire Electrical

Matt is one of more than 70 people Kāinga Ora have helped into an apprenticeship with the assistance of training and pastoral care providers. These include the Building & Construction Industry Training Organisation, Skills, the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

Now into its second year, the apprenticeship programme continues to grow, with 32 Kāinga Ora build partners and subcontractors now employing cadets and apprentices across public housing building sites.

The apprentices come from a range of backgrounds, including graduates from trades academies, casual work and labouring. The first cadet from the Kāinga Ora partnership with the Department of Corrections has also recently upped tools.

For more information about the programme, contact Kāinga Ora Social Outcomes Lead George Ellis

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Page updated: 20 May 2020