Hands-on experience of apprenticeship suits aspiring engineer

Watching his dad "magically fix things" inspired Joji Chute to become a mechanical engineering apprentice.
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Watching his dad "magically fix things" inspired Joji Chute to become a mechanical engineering apprentice.

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

Engineers like 22-year-old Joji Chute from Auckland's North Shore  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 air-conditioning 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.

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Kingsford said these roles are no longer just manual labour jobs.

"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, which creates health food products.

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"I chose to do an apprenticeship because I learn better when I do things. Being able to apply what I learn in my everyday work means I can relate to it and understand it much better," Chute said.

Chute is a future leader for the Got a Trade? Got it Made! national campaign to raise awareness of on-the-job training and careers in New Zealand's trades and services.

 - Stuff

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