At Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) Auckland, our trainees don’t just get jobs — we help them become qualified tradespeople. As recently-qualified electrician Cruise Tito knows, completing your apprenticeship is well worth the hard work to get there. Here’s the story of how Cruise has set himself up for a lasting and rewarding career.
When Cruise Tito finished his apprenticeship in November last year, he was thrilled to celebrate the years of hard work he put into his qualification.
“Being the first of my siblings to get qualified, it was a big deal. We all went out to dinner to celebrate,” says Cruise.
The 22-year-old was part of MPTT Auckland’s first group of trainees back in 2015. Having now completed an apprenticeship through Skills and electrical contracting company Team Cabling, Cruise is officially an electrician.
When Cruise finished high school, he knew he wanted to get a job that was hands-on, so it made sense to learn a trade.
“I like electronics and was motivated to get a good-paying job, so I decided to become an electrician.”
He completed a pre-trades course in electrical at Manukau Institute of Technology in 2015, with his fees paid for by the MPTT scholarship.
He was also coached by his MPTT navigator, to help ensure he knew what employers were looking for as he prepared for life on the job.
Sparking a legacy
MPTT Auckland has its roots in the Māori Affairs Trade Training Scheme, which saw thousands of Māori gain trade qualifications between 1959 and the mid-1980s.
This created a generation of Māori leaders in the trades — a legacy that MPTT is working to continue by supporting people like Cruise right through their training.
As one of the first trainees to join the MPTT programme, Cruise (Ngāpuhi, Ngai Ta Manuhiri, Ngāti Whātua) is grateful for the help it has offered him throughout his journey to getting qualified.
“The scholarship was a massive help financially. MPTT also encouraged and supported us to do better, like helping us set five-year goals.”
“MPTT is like a family. It was really nice being part of a group of people that met up regularly. My navigator Awhina helped me out with my CV and I also attended a financial support workshop through Skills, which helped me and my household improve our budgeting.”
The first goal on Cruise’s list after finishing his pre-trades course was getting an apprenticeship.
He found this opportunity at Coll Electrical, where he worked for about three years. Cruise was able to work nationally and was sub-contracted to work in Wellington for six months.
“It was the first time I had moved out of home and I was able to work on my first commercial project end-to-end.”
Returning to Auckland, Cruise realised he needed more varied experience to get the career he wanted.
“We were mainly working on civil projects, and I wanted to move more towards commercial. So I decided to look for other opportunities and was able to get a job at Team Cabling.”
With help from his apprenticeship provider Skills, Cruise was able to carry his apprenticeship over to his new job.
Switched on to the trades
From the beginning, Cruise has loved that the electrical trade lets him work with his hands.
“The work is awesome. There’s heaps to learn, I get to do different things every day, and it’s hands-on, practical work.”
“I knew I didn’t want a desk job – not right now anyway. I’m an active, hands-on person, so I based my career around that. I was motivated to get qualified, as I saw it was the key to more opportunities.”
The biggest challenge for Cruise on the road to becoming qualified was getting motivated to study and complete the necessary assignments.
“Exams were really hard. I found it hard to study while working full-time and playing rugby. But at the same time, I really enjoyed getting paid to learn.
“My partner motivated me a lot. Seeing her develop in her career made me determined to keep up. She helped keep me on track — she actually put the whip on me,” he laughs.
Now that he’s a qualified electrician, Cruise is grateful to have plenty of opportunities and support to grow his career. He recommends trades training to anyone who enjoys hands-on, practical work.
“Take every opportunity you can. Get paid to learn and get qualified,” says Cruise.
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