The building industry continues to buzz, with the actual number of new dwellings consented at 32,783, in the year ended November 2018, up 5.3 percent from the November 2017 year.

With all this activity, leaders in the industry are crying out for new talent, particularly in light of the Government’s KiwiBuild programme.

With this demand for new entrants, it is a great time to pick up a trade and earn while you learn.

Rhys Gwyther, 20, of Masterton, agrees. He is doing an apprenticeship in the building industry. He left high school a term early to start it.

“I got into the building industry by doing work experience at school and by putting my names out to different companies in the area,” Rhys says.

“Also talking to the tech teachers at school were good because they have contacts in the building industry and some companies like to hire from schools.”

The job takes him all around the Wairarapa, from his home in Masterton to Martinborough in the southern part of the region.

“The main benefit for me doing an apprenticeship is not having a massive student loan and having a job where at the end every day you can feel like you accomplished something and that your work is going to be there for years and years for people to see.”

Apprentices also have the chance to pick up real, practical skills from established practitioners in the industry.

It normally takes three and a half to four years to finish an apprenticeship. Rhys has been in his apprenticeship for the last two years.

While he admits to having been “pretty green” when he started his apprenticeship, in the time he has been an apprentice he has picked up a most of the ins and outs of the building trade, from setting out the house to hanging internal doors.

Apprenticeships not only give you a chance to earning while you learn, they give you a head start on saving for a house. Apprentices are also able to stay out of debt, as they do not require a student loan for their vocation.

As well as the houses he is helping to build around the Wairarapa, Rhys believes being free of student debt and earning while he learns will help put him in his first home.  

Apprentices are also able to build up their KiwiSaver investments while they earn and learn.

“It’s definitely a lot easier to save up for a house,” Rhys says. “That is one of the main goals now and hopefully I will in the next couple of years.

“I do think it’s quicker and KiwiSaver definitely helps and will be the same case for many others.”

He says those over sixteen should not hesitate to get involved if you are mulling over your career options.

“If you have an interest in the trade or this article and think an apprenticeship is the thing for you get into it get into while the industry is booming you won’t regret it.”

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