James Barber never envisioned himself as a business owner.
He knew he always wanted to be in the trades, and after labouring for two years, he began an apprenticeship through the construction industry’s training group BCITO 12 years ago.
“I fancied the outdoor working life and glazing appealed with its daily movement between jobs,” says Barber.
He learned the trade under Howick Glass owner Wayne Bennie, becoming a qualified glazier after three years.
After Bennie retired in 2017, Barber took up the opportunity to run the business.
“Life as an employer is challenging, but I enjoy it every day.”
Now as owner and operator, Barber is able to experience the business side of glass and glazing, as well as developing relationships in the industry. His staff includes three qualified glaziers and one apprentice.
Barber says being a good influence over his staff and being supportive is important.
“I am still on the tools every day and want to be a role model to my staff. Give them a chance, with the right support, training and attitude you can help anyone become a good tradesperson.”
New Zealand is experiencing a chronic tradie shortage and BCITO actively encourages people to sign up for apprentices, and “earn as they learn”.
Glazier is on Immigration New Zealand’s skilled migrant, Canterbury skill shortage and immediate skill shortage lists.