Tom is working in a company as an apprentice plumber. He applied to the company and went through the interview process and was accepted. He enjoys the lifestyle because it is flexible, never the same and he is always problem solving. The apprenticeship is for 5 years.
He began by selecting what type of plumbing had available apprenticeships – construction plumbing, industrial plumbing, maintenance plumbing – all requiring its own skill set. He is learning to get his qualification and ticket as a plumber. The hands on skills are transferable to take to other cities.
He begins the day out in the van with his plumber support person who is a registered plumber. Travelling to and from jobs adds to the interests of the day. With the registered plumbers Invercargill they discuss the timetable of the day and visit the hardware supply outlet to prepare and obtain the correct tools they will need for the day. He learns by going out on the job and working alongside the registered plumber and being instructed by them under their supervision, particularly how to identify and use the appropriate plumbing tools.
His current job requires looking at the house plans, measuring on distances the site, fixing leaking drain pipes or adding new pipes, including replacing existing copper pipes. Tom enjoys the team aspect of being a plumber apprentice although they work independently as well.
As part of the role, Tom needs to follow Health and Safety procedures, particularly related to getting into confined spaces and working on heights. He is responsible for his own safety and must wear his protective gear appropriately.
Tom is also learning to use the plumbing equipment and tools, learning the theory through gaining the required plumbing qualifications and then putting it into practice on the job while supervised.
One nice feature of the New Zealand contract and scene is the willingness of the contractors on site to engage and friendly and helpful conversation with customers and often passers-by. While New Zealanders are naturally friendly and helpful, it is also pretty obvious that contractors are far more aware of their public image and of the need for them to be alert to potential opportunities for new business.
The industry these days is highly competitive and customers are much better informed via the Internet of what services and products are generally available for what price. A helpful and friendly contractor is much more likely to find themselves getting leads and references from customers than a contractor who is not at all helpful. If you need plumbers Palmerston North you should totally go get one.
This is also very helpful for the contractor if the work they are doing causes some inconvenience to customers and passers-by, as a friendly attitude means that customers are much more likely to be tolerant at least for a short time. It is also useful when the work being done (such as public works) is not obvious in terms of why it’s been done and what the finished job will look like.
A large hole in the middle of the road for example surrounded by safety fencing that effectively blocks off that road is a lot more tolerable for motorists if they understand that the work is to repair the stormwater drains that are otherwise backing up at high tide and during floods. If the contractor explains that they are installing a large manhole with one way shutters to prevent high tide and floods from coming back up the stormwater pipes then the motorist is not only impressed with the diligence of the city council but is also impressed that they now have some useful gossip for their neighbours and friends.
Similarly a boulder the patiently explains to a neighbour or possibly what the sequence of works after the building site is not only being friendly and helpful but also insuring that all the other neighbours understand what’s happening. Builders are less likely to be bothered by similar questions, some other neighbours particularly if the first neighbour they talk to is a typical nosey neighbour.