UCOL Carpentry graduate Krystine Vincent loves the feeling she gets when she finishes a project.
“Seeing everything come together is awesome. Knowing that I helped build a whole house that someone is going to live in with their family for years is cool.”
Krystine had wanted to give building a try since she was at Horowhenua College, but wasn’t having any luck getting a start in the industry.
“I was trying to find a building job but was always told I had no experience, so thought I would do the UCOL course to learn some skills and get a feel for carpentry.”
Krystine enrolled in UCOL Horowhenua’s
New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry)
under the Māori and Pasifika
Trades Training (MPTT)
training initiative. As an MPTT student, Krystine’s study was fees-free. She also received petrol vouchers to help with travel costs, steel cap boots, and tailored support from UCOL’s MPPT Co-odinator/Kaituhono Mahi Kaiarataki.
“It was quite stressful covering the costs of groceries and flatting at the time, so the support I got through MPTT was a big help.”
“I still have my boots and wear them every day. When I signed up from my apprenticeship, I also got a $1,000 grant through MPTT, so I bought a nail gun and some drills. Through the carpentry course itself, we all got a tool belt, hammer, chisel, ruler, and all of the small things that we needed. It’s been a year and half and I’m still using all of that stuff.”
Krystine and her classmates spent a large part of the programme building a two-bedroom house. This experience made Krystine realise that building was definitely the career for her.
“It was really exciting once it all started coming together. I was happy every day to go home and tell my mum and everyone about it. Building the house was a big accomplishment, and I thought it would be so cool to do this every day for a living.”
Krystine’s lecturer encouraged the class do work experience while studying. Krystine took on this advice and, after approaching a few building firms in Levin, found work at New Level Solutions.
“I said I was doing the UCOL course to get experience. They thought that was awesome and took me on for a couple of days a week.”
“What I learnt on the job helped me at course, and the things I learnt at course helped me at work. When you’re on a worksite you’re going at a faster pace and learning different things, so it was really good to get that experience.”
Krystine is now doing her apprenticeship fulltime with Palmerston North-based EBL Homes.
“I love it. At the moment, we’re doing a 470 square metre house on the Pahiatua Track. We’ll be doing a deck around the house – I’m pretty excited because I haven’t built one before. We’re up on a hill and you can see everything, and it’s nice and peaceful.”