When he finished high school, Manish Narayan thought he wanted to be a diesel mechanic. However, after a few months on the job, he realised it wasn’t the career path for him. Looking for a positive change, Manish decided to enrol in the New Zealand Certificate of Plumbing at UCOL Te Pūkenga.
"When I left school, I thought that's what I wanted to be. I enrolled in a diesel mechanic apprenticeship with a local company, but it wasn't at all what I had imagined. I didn't have a Plan B because I'd been so set on that career. I started looking around for some other options and thought that plumbing could be a great trade to get into."
After chatting with his sister's partner about his idea, he was convinced.
"My sister's partner was recently qualified as a plumber. I got talking to him about his job and whether it would be the right fit for me. I loved hearing about the variety of work he does and how no two days were the same.
"I was actually hoping to walk straight into a plumbing apprenticeship, but I struggled to find someone willing to take me on. So I started looking into
training options and came across the
Pre-Trades programme at
UCOL's Wairarapa campus. I figured this course might be able to help me get a foot in the door."
the course has been a great fit and allowed him to gain lots of hands-on, real-life work experience.
"It's just as cool as I thought! Each week, I do two days at
UCOL and two days with a plumbing company. During my time at
UCOL, we've dug trenches, done some drainlaying, worked with sheet metal, and we even learnt a bit of building too. It's given me a real taster of what I could be doing on the job and helped me gain the skills I need to go confidently into the industry."
The biggest highlight of his studies has been the variety of learning opportunities, says Manish.
"That's the thing with plumbing, you become a jack of all trades. You learn how to do so many things with this course, like welding and piping out a bathroom. The stereotypical idea of plumbing is usually fixing toilet drains and kitchen sinks, but there's so much more to it than that."
Manish says his six-month
New Zealand Certificate of Plumbing will save him time in the long run.
"I get all the foundational learning at
UCOL, but I also get to take a whole year off my apprenticeship overall. So by going through
UCOL, it's only going to take me four years to become fully qualified instead of five."
Manish says he's grateful to have been well-supported during his studies.
"I get so much help from my lecturers. If I'm stuck or don't quite know how to do something, they're always there to support me. It's great having someone to bounce ideas off.
"Before coming to teach at
UCOL, my tutor was actually a qualified plumber and owned his own business. He walked straight from the industry into the classroom and it's so good to know I'm getting good solid advice from someone who actually knows the industry. He shares lots about his experience in class and it's provided heaps of value to my learning."
Going forward, Manish is hoping to land his first plumbing apprenticeship.
my progamme soon and I'm really excited to get out into the industry. I would love to stay on where I'm currently doing my work experience and become their apprentice because I've really enjoyed my time here!"
For those considering a career in plumbing, Manish says get into it.
"It's a really growing industry and there's a big shortage of plumbers at the moment. If you're looking for your next career move, this could be your sign!"