Pasia is 18 months into a plumbing apprenticeship and loving the many different challenges that the job presents.
“I find plumbing really fun most of the time – there’s a lot of variety in the work and it’s pretty demanding, but I enjoy the challenges of the job,” he says.
“If you’re not challenging yourself, there’s no real point of doing anything, I think. Plus, you get to meet heaps of new people and, personally, I really like the people I work with.”
After finishing college, Pasia gained his Level 3 Certificate in Plumbing, Drainlaying, Gasfitting and Roofing at Whitireia polytechnic. Although he wasn’t a big fan of the classroom work involved, Pasia knew that it comes with the territory and much of the time he found the practical work involved quite fun.
“Drainlaying was a good time. Lots of hands-on work, which I like, and you got to have a go on the old digger, which was new for me,” he says.
One thing that Pasia has found is that there’s a demand for tradesmen, so it didn’t take long for him to find an experienced plumber who would give him an apprenticeship. Currently working for a sole-trader who has just recently opened his own plumbing and drainage business, Pasia does a lot of work that wouldn’t always be offered to apprentices in bigger firms and he knows it’s a great opportunity to enhance his skill set.
There’s a lot of rolling up your sleeves and “jumping in at the deep end”, according to Pasia.
“Obviously you deal with a lot of toilets and that sort of thing so they’re not always the nicest smelling jobs, but you’ve just got to get in there and do it without complaining or whinging about it. When you’re faced with a clogged-up toilet, it’s man or mouse really.”
Plumbing is a real man’s job, he reckons, and nothing beats a cold one on a Friday afternoon after a good job’s been done. “It’s pretty rewarding at the end of the week to just hang around with the boys after and tell a few tales of what we came up against throughout the week. It’s not all a grind; there’s also a social aspect to plumbing, which I enjoy.”
After completing the remaining three years of his apprenticeship, Pasia plans to either move down to Christchurch, where there is still a big demand for plumbers after the earthquakes in the region, or take his trade overseas.
The flexibility that comes with the trade is another thing that Pasia values about being a plumber. For aspiring plumbers, Pasia has a few words of encouragement: “If you’re someone who loves to get your hands dirty and likes to challenge yourself in an outdoor environment, get yourself into plumbing. When looking for an apprenticeship you’ve got to be persistent and not just sit there on your bum waiting for work to come to you.
“Just by approaching different companies, chances are you’ll get taken up and then once you’ve got your foot in the door the experience that you get from it will help you out more in the future. Just be proactive and do what you’re passionate about.”