UCOL | Te Pūkenga Carpentry graduate Krystine Vincent loves the feeling she gets when she finishes a project.
“Seeing everything come together is awesome. Knowing that I helped build a whole house that someone is going to live in with their family for years is cool.”
Krystine had wanted to give building a try since she was at Horowhenua College, but wasn’t having any luck getting a start in the industry.
“I was trying to find a building job but was always told I had no experience, so thought I would do the UCOL | Te Pūkenga course to learn some skills and get a feel for carpentry.”
Krystine enrolled in UCOL | Te Pūkenga Horowhenua’s
New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry)
under the Māori and Pasifika
Trades Training (MPTT)
training initiative. As an MPTT student, Krystine’s study was fees-free. She also received petrol vouchers to help with travel costs, steel cap boots, and tailored support from the UCOL | Te Pūkenga MPPT Co-odinator/Kaituhono Mahi Kaiarataki.
“It was quite stressful covering the costs of groceries and flatting at the time, so the support I got through MPTT was a big help.”
“I still have my boots and wear them every day. When I signed up from my apprenticeship, I also got a $1,000 grant through MPTT, so I bought a nail gun and some drills. Through the carpentry course itself, we all got a tool belt, hammer, chisel, ruler, and all of the small things that we needed. It’s been a year and half and I’m still using all of that stuff.”
Krystine and her classmates spent a large part of the programme building a two-bedroom house. This experience made Krystine realise that building was definitely the career for her.
“It was really exciting once it all started coming together. I was happy every day to go home and tell my mum and everyone about it. Building the house was a big accomplishment, and I thought it would be so cool to do this every day for a living.”
Krystine’s lecturer encouraged the class do work experience while studying. Krystine took on this advice and, after approaching a few building firms in Levin, found work at New Level Solutions.
“I said I was doing the UCOL course to get experience. They thought that was awesome and took me on for a couple of days a week.”
“What I learnt on the job helped me at course, and the things I learnt at course helped me at work. When you’re on a worksite you’re going at a faster pace and learning different things, so it was really good to get that experience.”
Krystine is now doing her apprenticeship fulltime with Palmerston North-based EBL Homes.
“I love it. At the moment, we’re doing a 470 square metre house on the Pahiatua Track. We’ll be doing a deck around the house – I’m pretty excited because I haven’t built one before. We’re up on a hill and you can see everything, and it’s nice and peaceful.”