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Elizsabeth Watson - Roofing Apprenticeship NZ

As manager of Stone Roofing multi-tasking is a necessity of life for 29-year-old Elizsabeth (Liz) Watson.

“I love being busy. Even though Dan (partner and owner) and I run a business together I wanted to challenge myself even more so I took on a roofing apprenticeship through The Skills Organisation.

“The decision to become qualified was because Dan and I really want to bid on bigger jobs, move out of sub-contracting and grow our direct business. We really love working for ourselves,” says Liz.

Partner Dan is fully qualified and Liz is almost through her apprenticeship through The Skills Organisation.

“Our account manager Martin Finney is really supportive and helped Dan through his tickets so it was the reason I went with Skills.”

Running a family-owned business means life is a lot more flexible giving Liz freedom to structure her days.

“Technically I only work 30 hours a week but they’re long days. I have a lot to fit in and one of the things I’m firm on is taking time for myself.

“I’m really serious about my netball. I play competitively in the Regional Sports Netball (RSN) Premier league for Hamilton and it is really good to have an outlet which is just for me,” she says.

“At the end of the day though, it comes down to just getting up, getting stuck into getting the job done well. We have two employees working with us who we will put through apprenticeships because it encourages them to take charge of their own futures,” she says.

Liz says the most important thing she’s learned from running a business is time management and being committed to the business, her employees and the clients.

“Communication is also key. We encourage our guys to ask questions, have opinions and engage with us. It keeps us all on the same page,” says Liz.

“The job hasn’t been without challenges. I’m in roofing yet I was initially so scared of heights that I my work mates coined me the crab lady when I scuttled across the scaffolding holding onto the roof and safety barriers. It’s better now; not easier but better.

“An added bonus is I now use my skills for everything from paving our yard to building an epic tiled dog kennel which was really fun and creative.

“It’s certainly been a journey, I started in civil construction holding lolly pop signs, now I’m a business manager, roofing apprentice, wife and mother. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds,” says Liz.


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