The joy of hands-on work: Life as a builder.

In the latest of our Career Bites sessions where we introduce students to a wide variety of career options, we were fortunate to hear from Edge City Builders apprentice Courtney Willan and her boss, Sharon Boyd, the owner of Edge City Builders. 

Courtney left school and went to university, where she completed her degree. However, at the end of this time, she realised she wanted a hands-on job with challenges. She had never had anything to do with the building trade before, and as she said, “I went into it really green, never picking up a tool, not knowing the names of the tools.”

According to Sharon and Courtney, the skills needed for a building apprenticeship are interpersonal skills, a willingness to learn, and enthusiasm for the tasks at hand.

At Edge City Builders, finding solutions to problems is a collaborative effort. As Courtney shared, being part of a supportive team can make a significant difference. Not everyone needs to be an expert in every area, because together as a team, the job gets done.  The inclusive and encouraging atmosphere in the team is one of the aspects Courtney loves most about her job.

The trade industry is keen to have more females in this field. There are courses at Unitec that students can take before becoming apprentices. In this course, students build a house from start to finish. The more common method is to find an apprenticeship, and then after three months, most companies will pay for the apprentice to study and become qualified.

At Edge City, the apprenticeship takes four years, and from there, many builders go on to specialise in different areas. During the apprenticeship, young builders are exposed to all aspects of the build, from the foundations to the end.