People wanting to learn a trade have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, both constructing public houses and maintaining older homes.

Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone on Friday at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch.

“This Government’s investment in apprenticeships is about creating jobs and opportunities for young people, stimulating local economies and creating an ongoing pipeline of work that will help build the huge number of homes we need and stimulate the economy as we continue to recover from COVID 19,” she said.

“This fantastic milestone represents hundreds more builders, carpenters, electricians, painters, drain layers, and scaffolders who are part of ‘Team Housing.’ Together they are building more public housing or upgrading and maintaining the nearly 70,000 public houses across New Zealand.”

Two of those people are electrical apprentice Matt Sauni of Wright Wire Electrical, and builder-in-training Tony Siva of Home Construction.

The pair met with the Minister at the event to share their experiences with her.

“It’s great to be in a job where I’m learning all the time,” Matt previously told Kāinga Ora.

For Tony, who studied construction trade skills at Ara Institute of Canterbury before joining the Home team, his apprenticeship was a way to build a future.

“My plan for the future is to buy or build my own house and hopefully go back to Samoa to rebuild my village,” he told Ara after beginning his apprenticeship.

“It’s never too late to study or change your career path. If you work hard and put the time and effort into a trade, I guarantee you’ll reap the benefits.”

The apprentices and cadets are placed into jobs with Kāinga Ora build and maintenance partners over the past two years. They are provided additional support with things like driving lessons, one-on-one mentorship, and sessions to develop skills to succeed outside of the workplace as well.

“This is not just a win for the hundreds of people who are learning a wide range of new skills and trades on the tools, it is also a win for the wider construction sector that needs these women and men to help meet the requirements of the booming residential housing sector,” Minister Woods said.

More information on Kāinga ora training and apprenticeships

The team building futures, from left: Home Construction’s Paul Nanai, Tony Siva and Chris Stephens, Kāinga Ora South Island Deputy Chief Executive Paul Commons, Minister Megan Woods, Home’s Israel Cooper, Matt Sauni of Wright Wire and Kainga Ora Project Manager Mark Booker.

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Page updated: 30 November 2021