Engi­neer’s got it made


More ap­pren­tices are en­rolling in train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions but New Zealand is still fac­ing ma­jor skill shortages.

En­gi­neers like 22-year-old Joji Chute from Birken­head will be in de­mand in years to come, as many of his peers have opted for ap­pren­tice­ships in the build­ing and con­struc­tion in­dus­try rather than en­gi­neer­ing. Com­pe­tenz represents all New Zealand ap­pren­tice­ships, and chief ex­ec­u­tive Fiona Kings­ford said it is not just the tra­di­tional trades of build­ing, plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal that need ap­pren­tices but also the en­gi­neer­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing, and heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air­con­di­tion­ing in­dus­tries.

‘‘Em­ploy­ment in the en­gi­neer­ing sec­tor grew by 7.7 per cent be­tween 2011 and 2016 and it is an­tic­i­pated in the next five years, there will be an av­er­age of 600 jobs need­ing to be filled each year,’’ Kings­ford said.

‘‘There’s been a shift to­wards highly skilled and tech­ni­cal roles. In to­day’s job mar­ket, prac­ti­cal in­tel­li­gence has just as much earn­ing power as academic in­tel­li­gence.’’

Watch­ing his dad ‘‘mag­i­cally fix things’’, in­spired a young Chute to pur­sue an ap­pren­tice­ship in me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing.

‘‘My ap­pren­tice­ship is the step­ping stone to be­com­ing a cer­ti­fied engi­neer, so I can bring things back to life too,’’ Chute said.

When he left school, Chute com­pleted a Cer­tifi­cate in Aero­nau­ti­cal En­gi­neer­ing at the Air New Zealand Avi­a­tion In­sti­tute. He is now in the second year of his me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing ap­pren­tice­ship at Alive Foods.

‘‘My ap­pren­tice­ship is the step­ping stone’’

Joji Chute

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