A Napier engineering apprentice is on a mission to get more people into trades.
Paul Taurima is an engineering apprentice at Foot Engineering in Napier through Competenz (an industry training organisation).
He is a speaker at a series of events organised by Competenz to encourage Maori and Pasifika school levers into trades apprenticeships, especially engineering.
Mr Taurima says his job involves a range of roles and responsibilities to ensure the workplace runs smoothly including being a courier driver, rubbish man, a builder, forklift driver and cleaner as well as engineering tasks.
“Every day is a challenge and that’s why I love it.
“I love that at my job you might be welding a bicycle then one phone call later, you’re packing the bush truck to repair a digger, then maybe at the port doing maintenance.
“Every day is different and the variety of work my company covers is so vast, I’m going to have a good set of skills when I qualify.”
Undertaking an apprenticeship has been incredibly useful as he would not have been able to learn about the job any other way, he says.
“You can’t be told you might need to hold the angle grinder on this angle to cut there for example, you need to be doing it.
“My job has progressed from not knowing how to use a grinder properly, to being 40 metres in the air in a man cage with another tradie cutting seized bolts off two seven-metre pipes. “
He has also found a wealth of support and knowledge from his workmates who have been happy to help him learn.
“I’m in a relatively small engineering workshop where everyone gets along and because it’s smaller, I can’t get lost among all the employees.
“Everyone knows I’m an apprentice and if they see I need help, they step in.
“Having a young manager and foreman in the work shop is good because they still know what it’s like to be an apprentice. They aren’t scared to give me a go and don’t rip my head off when I make a mistake.”
One of the main reasons Mr Taurima chose to do an apprenticeship was so he could earn money while learning.
“Also, skills are more valuable than money and the skills that I’m learning while doing my apprenticeship will stay with me forever.
“I can take them with me overseas. It just opens up so many options.
“I want to build a home out of shipping containers one day so I need some skills.”
When not at work, Mr Taurima enjoys fishing, playing rugby, waka ama, spending time with his nieces and nephews and coaches basketball at Napier Boys High School.
Source: Hawke’s Bay Today