Brickie claims apprentice of the year award
A Pukekohe brickie has claimed a solid accolade thanks to the quality workmanship he displayed during his apprenticeship.
Josh Toetoe secured the Firth Silver Trowel Brick and Blocklaying Apprentice of the Year award after he submitted a portfolio of his experience as an apprentice bricklayer last year.
Toetoe said he was ‘‘stocked’’ and ‘‘overwhelmed’’ to have won the award and said that it would help him with future endeavours.
‘‘To have the award means to keep up the reputation of my work and that I can tackle any challenge head-on and do it to my best quality. It also makes clients happy with what I have done,’’ said Toetoe.
‘‘[I want to] be successful and keep up the reputation of the Silver Trowel ... keeping up the standard.’’
Toetoe, who qualified earlier this year, has been working as a bricklayer for five years.
He was unemployed before becoming a bricklayer and thanked his employer Jason van Tiel - who also won the same award in 1990 - for giving him the opportunity.
‘‘(Van Tiel) always keeps you on your toes - there is no time for slacking, it’s good.’’
Having come from the ’’unemployment background’’, Toetoe said he would like to work closely with those who were struggling to gain work. ’’I was in the same situation trying to look for a job. Getting out of your comfort zone is a hard thing for people these days aye,’’ said Toetoe.
‘‘I want to collaborate with ... those guys that can’t get a job opportunity to do our best at steering them in a different way and just help out a bit if I can.’’
The 26-year-old said bricklaying wasn’t a career option he had considered, but after taking the job with J R van Tiel Bricklaying, and acquiring an apprenticeship,
‘‘(Van Tiel) always keeps you on your toes - there is no time for slacking, it's good.’’
he became ‘‘keen’’ on the trade
He enjoys the outdoors and physical work, and said if he wasn’t bricklaying he’d still being doing something physical.
‘‘[I enjoy] going around different sites being able to do different things, different houses, different jobs ... pleasing clients and travelling around New Zealand,’’ said Toetoe.
For now, the brickie will focus on working hard until he is ready to start his own bricklaying business.
Jason van Tiel, left, and Jsoh Toetoe have both won the Firth Silver Trowel award.