A career in the electrical industry is a great choice, says Neville Simpson, CEO of Master Electricians.
“Like all trade industries, apprentices are being paid while they learn, so don’t finish their training with a huge student debt. They learn skills they can transfer easily overseas, and can make some really good money.”
Mr Simpson would like to see schools promoting trades to the ‘brightest and best’ students, as well as to those who may not be as academic.
“There needs to be a new paradigm of thinking around trades which is often promoted as the way forward for students who are not achieving academically.”
“The electrical industry in particular offers some great career options for students with a high understanding of physics, English and other sciences. There is a real need for these kinds of people.”
Mr Simpson says while more women are entering the electrical industry, he would like to see the gender balance continue to tip.
“We’re definitely trying to grow the number of women entering the trade, as well as increase the representation of Maori and Pacific people. In the recent Electrical Apprentice of the Year competition there were two women amongst the 10 finalists, which was great.”
He says anyone interested in a career as an electrician should contact etco, a wholly owned subsidiary of Master Electricians, which is accredited to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
etco was established to provide employment and training for the electrical industry. It focuses on the employment and placement of electrical apprentices via its group apprenticeship scheme and offers training courses for apprentices and tradespeople.
“etco is the biggest employer of apprentices in New Zealand, with around 600. They are always keen to attract more. Fantastic opportunities currently exist across the whole building and contracting sector for hard-working, capable tradespeople.”