GOT A TRADE WEEK 2017|21 - 27 AUGUST 2017 View event calendar

Elizsabeth Watson - Roofing Apprenticeship NZ

Ellen Kibblewhite isn’t your typical 20 year old. While her friends were out shopping for new shoes, Ellen was shopping for her ideal trade apprenticeship.

After leaving school, she took time out to give serious thought to weigh up her next steps.

“I’m a hands-on, practical person. When it came to getting serious about my career, I knew straight away I wanted an apprenticeship but wasn’t sure which one was right for me.

“Dad’s a mechanic by trade and a strong supporter of the apprenticeship pathway.

“He took me around to a bunch of different types of workshops and because I knew I didn’t want to come home greasy every day or break my back lifting heavy materials electrical was a natural choice,” she says.

Taking engineering-type classes at school like building and technology also helped Ellen with her decision.

“I think if I had the opportunity at school to do a Gateway program like The Skills Organisation offers, I would have jumped at the opportunity. Work experience is such a great way to find out what you enjoy,” she says.

After completing her apprenticeship in 2014, Ellen is now a qualified electrician and goes out in her van at industrial sites across the lower North Island.

“The difference between being an apprentice and becoming qualified is your level of responsibility. Before I would head out with a qualified work mate and follow their direction but now I rely completely on my own abilities and knowledge. It’s so rewarding!

“At the beginning I’d walk away wondering if I’d fixed it completely but it gets easier with experience,” she says.

Ellen is well on her way to a successful career but her goals don’t stop there. She’s ready to keep elevating her experience; literally.

“I just started working for Ruapehu Alpine Lifts as a seasonal Electrician on Mount Ruapehu and will be here until October when the ski season ends. I’m so excited to have this opportunity. It goes to show that having goals and actively working towards them can make your aspirations a reality.

“Next my sights are set on taking my career to the ski slopes of Canada. I can’t wait,” she says.

If you’ve got the travel bug and want to earn while you learn, an apprenticeship is the ideal pathway so head out shopping!

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