David Parsons – MPTT Kaitohutohu Ahumahi

David Parsons — MPTT Kaitohutohu Ahumahi
David Parsons is of Ngāpuhi decent, his marae is Taheke, he whakapapa’s to the Pou whānau. At MPTT he is our Kaitohutohu Ahumahi.
David has almost 20 years of experience with the BCITO (Building and Construction Training Organisation) helping people navigate the trades. He is delighted to join the MPTT project team so that he can give back to the sector he loves and help support Māori and Pasifika into trades.

David’s role is as an industry connector. He’ll be supporting tauira, providers, and employers to ensure strong, smooth progressions from pre-trades training to apprenticeships and beyond. 

He’ll help MPTT tauira take their next step once they have completed their pre-trade course with their navigators who together will help them find employment and an apprenticeship.

His long experience in the industry means he’s seen how much success spreads when trainees commit to the trades.

“Those who stay the distance to get qualified become sought after successful employers who inspire others to join the trades. This tuakana teina relationship is special to Māori and Pasifika and is immensely powerful.”

David acknowledges that it can be a challenge to persevere and get qualified, but he says the long-term gains are worth it.

David is here to help anyone who wants support seeing their apprenticeship or apprentice all the way through.

David also wants to encourage more Māori to step forward and put themselves out there. By doing so they can receive the support they need to succeed in the trades. “It’s about making things better for Māori and Pasifika,” he says. With David on the team, we’re sure to do more of that than ever.



Beyond apprenticeships

Advancing your career as an MPTT Alumni
Getting qualified in the trades is a path to a secure and satisfying career, and it can also be a stepping stone to even further advancement. Whatever your trade, there are plenty of opportunities once you’ve completed your apprenticeship. Whether it’s getting recognition as a master of your field or learning to supervise and manage, the opportunities are as far-reaching as your imagination.

Once you’re qualified, out working and ready to advance in your industry, you can level up with a Certificate in Business Skills First Line Management. It’s suitable for current or aspiring managers or supervisors in a range of industries, including Automotive, Transport & Logistics, Drilling, Mining & Quarrying and Gas, Hospitality, Engineering, Fabrication and more.

Below, we’ve listed more of the exciting advancement opportunities for taking your career to the next level, becoming a manager or even your own boss.


Big steps to becoming the boss in your trade

Automotive

Jodi Franklin from MITO says completing your apprenticeship is just the beginning. Graduates can go on to specialise in advanced fields of work with qualifications such as Electric Vehicle Level 5 or the new suite of Level 5 automotive programmes in Light, Heavy Vehicle, and automotive Electrical (being released in 2023).  If you’re interested in leadership, the New Zealand Certificate in Business can be a pathway to a management position or increase your skills and knowledge.

“We actually have scholarships advertised now that include Māori and Pasifika categories, so it’s a great time for people to consider what they would like to do next.” 

You can see the list of scholarships here: www.mito.org.nz/get-qualified/2023-scholarships/


Building and Construction

In the construction industry, there are also training opportunities to give you the skills to become a supervisor. 

David Parsons of BCITO says the Level 5 Certificate in Construction Trades — Supervisor recognises your ability to manage people and job sites, tender for new work, decision-making and much more. There are many opportunities to own your own business in construction when you equip yourself with the right knowledge, practical abilities and people skills. 

Licenced Building Practitioner

The Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) scheme requires building practitioners to be licensed to carry out or supervise work that is critical to the integrity of the building. This kind of ‘restricted building work’ concerns homes and small to medium-sized buildings. Gaining your LBP Licence means you can carry out more complex work, including:

  • active fire safety systems
  • brick & block laying
  • cladding
  • foundations
  • framing
  • roofing.

Being qualified is an important component of getting licensed to practise. To find out more about licensing, refer to Licensed Building Practitioners.


Electrical

Once you have completed your electrical apprenticeship, you can look ahead to the National Certificate in Electrical Engineering (Advanced Trade) L5. This programme is ideal if you’re a registered electrician looking for an advanced qualification to develop your electrical, business and overall leadership skills.

ETCO offers the Master Electricians Competency Course for registration or renewal of a practising licence for electricians, electrical apprentices and electrical workers. It covers updates and changes to electrical legislation, supervising trainees, first aid and much more. Find out more at ETCO.


Hairdressing

Once you’ve completed your hairdressing apprenticeship, advanced cutting and colouring training allows you to take the next step. With the advanced colouring course, you are able to work as an advanced professional hair colourist within a commercial hairdressing salon or as a self-employed stylist in a variety of settings.

Advanced cutting training equips qualified hairdressers to provide specialist cutting services and advanced techniques. These qualifications will set you up for operating with complete self-management when cutting hair. To find out more, visit HITO.


Hospitality

In hospitality, great managers aren’t born; they’re trained on the job. Some of the courses that can help you do this are the Team Lead Savvy Award – Level 3, New Zealand Certificate in Business (Introduction to Team Leadership) and the New Zealand Diploma in Hospitality Management – Level 5. 

Each of these qualifications will help you upskill with the knowledge and capability to be able to manage the premises’ day-to-day operations, staff and planning and pull everything together to provide first-class customer service. Find out more at: www.serviceiq.org.nz/training/management-and-supervision-programmes/


Painting and Decorating

All qualified paint apprentices can apply to attend a sponsored Master’s Course. This will teach you about running a painting business, including costing, measuring, staff management, employment relations and health and safety.

You’ll learn about:

  • present and future trends in the paint industry
  • the role of the architect within the industry
  • industrial relations, employment obligations
  • management of a painting contracting unit
  • colour and its use within the industry.

Gaining experience running small to progressively larger projects within an established company and this learning will help you if you wish to start your own painting business.

Find out more at Master Painters.


Plumbing and Gas fitting

Qualified plumbing apprentices have opportunities to advance their careers with both the First Line Management qualifications and with specific industry training through Master Plumbers. Examples of topics included are Contract Law and Dealing with Consumers.

To become a Master Plumber, you need the highest qualification available and are responsible for making sure the company’s work is done competently. All Master Plumbers members have a certifying tradesperson on the team and undertake quality assurance reviews of their business practices.

Find out more at Master Plumbers.

Women are working it in the trades

Female trades trainees at NZMA
Wāhine Māori and Pasifika are breaking down stereotypes and building futures.

At NZMA, Dalice, Shalei, Mereana and Ngatamaine are women who are stepping up in their steelcaps to learn a trade. They’re backed by a supportive learning environment, inspired by female tutors and passionate about developing their skills. They told us about their experience so far and offered encouragement to other women thinking about the trades.  

According to these wāhine, change is coming to the old stereotype that trades are male-dominated.  

When Dalice Kareko wondered about learning a trade, one of her first questions to NZMA was whether other women were studying. She was surprised to find out that more than half the class was female. She’s also realised that the work is so varied that it’s easier to hold your own than expected.

“It’s cool to be able to read a plan literally off the wall of the building and interpret it into a real-life project.”


Malice Kareko is studying Level 3 Construction at NZMA
Dalice Kareko is studying Level 3 Construction at NZMA with the help of a scholarship from
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training.

It’s a profession with potential

Dalice decided to learn construction to set herself up with a profession and options. She said she looked ahead and realised she wanted more from life than turning up for a shift. In particular, she wanted a skill that she could turn into a career.

“I just want to step out beyond the usual jobs and office work to do something outdoorsy.”  

Tutor Jasmine Lolo wishes more young women knew how many options there are. “The trades are about so much more than building… you can take almost any path,” she said. Jasmine gave the example of health and safety specialists or site managers – these roles are far different to the ‘hammer and nail’ people might think of.

And the earning potential is attractive too. Mereana Panui saw how much builders were earning and decided that it shouldn’t just be for the boys. 

“It looked pretty fun! Right now, I’m just enjoying it, but it’s also about the end game: It’s a good career.”


Gaining skills is satisfying

The wāhine we spoke to all talked about how rewarding it is to learn how to use tools and create things. 

Ngatamaine Tipukoroa is studying electrical at NZMA, and it suits her because she likes to work with her hands. “I like to challenge myself, and the challenge is good. Not many people back home in the Islands have the skills to work in electrical, so what I’m learning will mean I can really help. Together we’ll be able to build homes.”

Shalei Seumanutafa gets a kick knowing she can hold her own when it comes to using tools and looks forward to having something to show for a day’s work. 

“I love the idea of actually being able to see your work take shape in front of you. I know people in construction who can point out huge apartments and buildings and say, ‘Yeah, I worked on that.’  And I will be able to say that as well! 

Shalei is excited about starting her apprenticeship because she knows that it will build her skills and satisfaction further.

“I want to move up. And I just like learning.

“An apprenticeship gives you the chance to work right alongside more experienced workers, get discipline and have the interest of different sites to go to.”

And then there’s the satisfaction of building things rather than buying them. I can build things for my chickens or guinea pigs and fix stuff around the house. And I get the reward of knowing I did that,” said Shalei.

Shalei is another MPTT scholarship recipient preparing for a career in construction at NZMA Trades.

Putting your passion first

Since starting at NZMA, Shalei knows she’s exactly where she wants to be. At high school, she enjoyed building but the classes were full of boys. She ended up switching to sewing. However, after working in an office, she knew her heart was in the trades. Having a bit of life experience made it easier to step into something new.

“I know who I am now, and I feel more comfortable because I know this is what I really want to do.” She advises others to be true to themselves as well. 

“I’ve been feeling like I wanted to do trades since school, and now I’m here, and it’s way cooler. So, it’s worth thinking about what makes you happy. Do what you want to do, and not just what others think you should be doing. Follow your gut!”


There’s a sense of support

It’s clear that NZMA has created an environment where women can thrive in their training. 

Mereana said,  “I wasn’t expecting lots of females to be in my class, but there are heaps. And there are a lot of age groups too.

“We’re working in smaller groups to build our cabins, and I’m the team leader. So, it’s soft skills that we’re building too.”

“I was worried people might treat me differently as a female. I was ready to have to work extra hard to prove myself. But it wasn’t really like that. The tutors are all good and super supportive.” 

Dalice said having female tutors makes a big difference. “They get it. And they show that there are real prospects and possibilities.”

It won’t be long before Dalice, Shalei, Mereana and Ngatamaine are out working and inspiring others to do the same. Ngatamaine is already looking forward to a prestigious apprenticeship with Hawkins. She knows getting qualified will set her up for long term success, and she hopes more females will follow. 

“As women, we’re proving to everyone that we can make it. So don’t be afraid to put your name down and step up for trades. Follow your heart and keep going.”

Mereana Panui, Construction trainee and MPTT scholarship recipient currently doing her pre-trades at NZMA.