Ellen Stevens-Goffe (left) and Shannon Mason-Marks (right) Māori Trades Trainees

This year one hundred and eighty WelTec and Whitireia students across the Wellington region were part of the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) scheme.

Optimism and confidence is high amongst the students as they look to enter the booming construction industry. Plumbing, carpentry, electrical, painting and decorating students are just some of the students nearing completion of their qualification and Passport to Work.

Shannon Mason-Marks (Ngāti Rangitihi) is a Māori trades training student and is nearing the completion of the New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Allied Trades and Carpentry) and can’t wait to get into industry.

“I really want an apprenticeship. Through my studies this year I learned how to build a house with a group of other students. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved. This year has been so worthwhile, to get a scholarship, to do the study and get qualified. I’ve got family asking me when can I build a house for them, but I need a bit more experience yet!” says Shannon.

Under the scholarship Māori trades training scholarship recipients Shannon and Ellen Stevens-Goffe (Ngāti Kahungunu) were mentored through their training by Tamaiti Whangai staff – a Te Atiawa led Maori mentoring team based at the Petone campus of WelTec. This mentoring which will carry on into the women’s first three months of employment will provide ongoing help and assistance to them as they settle into work.

Neil McDonald Head of Construction at WelTec and Whitireia says, “We are very pleased that the construction industry is in a strong state and appreciative of employers who give talented graduates like Shannon and Ellen an opportunity to get a step in the door of the construction industry assisting them to become fully qualified trades people.”

“This is a positive example of a working partnership between industry, Ngāti Toa and Te Atiawa, community, WelTec and Whitireia providing access to employment and careers that benefit young people, and employers,” says Chris Gosling Chief Executive Whitireia and WelTec.

Pasifika students also gathered in Naenae to celebrate the completion of their pre-trade carpentry qualification with the support of the Hutt Valley Branch of the Mafutaga a Faifeau Samoa Wellington.

Eighty-four Pasifika Trades Training students studied a trade at WelTec or Whitireia. Addressing the students Chief Executive Chris Gosling said, “I am proud of each and every one of you. From builders to plumbers to hairdressers to painters to automotive engineers you all have a bright future with your academic achievements to date.”

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