Helping the ChCh rebuild

WelTec graduate Josh McHugh (left), Frank Flohr (Mngr,First Choice Decorators,and tutor John Knol

Young Raumati tradesman flying south

A young Raumati South man, Josh McHugh, and Aukilani Koeplani, of Naenae, will be using their painting and decorating skills to help the Christchurch rebuild effort.

The two WelTerc students have been hired by Frank Flohr, of of First Choice Decorators — and he’s sending the two painting and decorating graduates to Christchurch next week.

“We have a lot of work on the go in Christchurch and we need skilled people who have undertaken pre-trade training and who can start work immediately,” says Mr Flohr.

‘Painting 5 or 6 houses a week’

“We are painting around 5 or 6 houses a week and have been down in Christchurch since February last year.  We are keen to provide ongoing training and support so that Josh and Aukilani achieve their training goals while providing them with work through our Christchurch operation.

Josh says: “I learnt a lot from the tutors at WelTec.  Nigel Phillipson and John John Knol were my mentors and they’ll continue to help me with my National Certificate in Painting which I’ll be studying while I’m in Christchurch. The opportunity to get a permanent job is great and I’m appreciative of WelTec and First Choice Decorators for making this happen.”

WelTec’s Head of Construction, Neil McDonald, adds: “This is a great opportunity for our graduates and shows that they have the skills employers want.”

Neil led a team from WelTec who visited Christchurch last week, meeting several employers who are looking for pre-trade qualified staff.

 ‘Jobs in building and construction’ “After talking with Christchurch employers it’s clear there are jobs in the building and construction industry.

“The ‘wet’ trades are in particularly high demand.  These are jobs which require people skilled in brick, blocklaying, and tiling; painting and decorating; and other trades such as carpentry.

“Wellington and Christchurch need to work together to meet the demand for tradespeople in Christchurch in the rebuild effort.  As a major provider of skilled trades graduates, we are well positioned to supply this demand which is going to accelerate dramatically in the coming few months and which is forecast to continue for 5 to 10 years.”

Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills & Employment announced yesterday that he had brought forward the Apprenticeships Re-boot.  This will provide financial incentives to employers like First Choice Decorators who are set to benefit by taking on new apprentices.