Name: Shevonne Evans 

Age: 22

City/town: Tokoroa

What’s your job? Manufacturing aluminium joinery i.e. aluminium windows and doors. I’ve been doing it for over three years now.

How did you get into this line of work? I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life then an opening came up for an apprenticeship. I applied and I got it. 

What qualifications or training did you need? After a three-month trial, I started my apprenticeship for BCITO. I completed the 24-month programme in 18 months.

What are the best bits of your job? It’s hands on and I learn something new every day. My training advisor from BCITO pushed me the hardest to learn and to apply for scholarships and awards [Shevonne was runner-up in the 2017 Architectural Aluminium Joinery Apprentice of the Year]. He got me to enter the local adult learner awards, which I won, and because of him I also applied and sat as one of two apprentices on the BCITO Summit Panel.

And what are the worst bits? Initially it was frustrating because I couldn’t lift as much as the others. I’m stronger now and I’ve learnt it’s about getting the right techniques to lift. Also when contractors and builders came in, they’d underestimate what I could do and what I knew. When they come in now, they say ‘can you give us a hand, Shevonne?’ I’ve earned their respect.

What’s your biggest career goal? Alongside BCITO, I want to encourage more women into trades. I want to own and operate a business within the construction industry.

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