Pro Features

Earning and learning helps build career

Apprentices Jade De Har and Harry Algie both agree that learning a trade has been a great decision that will set up their careers in the construction sector.

Jade is one of three female apprentices at Gemco, and the only one training to be a carpenter. A go-getter, Jade left school at 16 years of age and managed a restaurant for 10 years before deciding to take up a trade.

“I love working with my hands and at Gemco, every day I get the opportunity to do something different.”

Jade did a pre-employment course with G & H Training and as part of this she was placed at Gemco for some work experience.

“I could see that there were lots of opportunities here and I like being creative, so I worked hard to impress my foreman so that I could get an apprenticeship.”

Twelve months on, Jade sees a long-term future at Gemco. She is also about to start another exciting new chapter in her life as she is due to have a baby later in the year.

During her time at Gemco, Jade has worked on a wide range of projects, all of which are helping her develop a broad range of skills and experience. In the past year she’s worked on the Hastings Crematorium, Hastings Health Centre, Delegat winery and the new commercial complex on Joll Road, Havelock North.

“I’m a person who does not ask for a hand, instead I’ll tell my workmates that I can do it.”

While on maternity leave Jade plans to continue her apprenticeship education via BCITO in preparation for the next stage of her career.

Harry is in his third year of a plumbing and gas fitting apprenticeship. Although some of his mates headed off to university, Harry enrolled in a pre-trades course at EIT at the beginning of 2016 before joining Gemco later in the year.

Harry was keen to stay in Hawke’s Bay and ‘learn and earn’ while completing his four-year apprenticeship and making the most of working within a large multi-trade construction company.

“There’s a great group of people here at Gemco and everyone is keen to help me. We always have a wide range of projects on the go.

“Better still, I am earning and learning, I have no student loan to pay off and I’m saving money.”

As for the future, Harry hasn’t ruled out a stint out of Hawke’s Bay, whether that’s within New Zealand or overseas, but he is keen to run his own business at some stage.

“It’s a fair while off yet though. I enjoy it here, it’s a supportive environment but at some stage it would be great to have my own business.”