At school, Joshua always preferred practical subjects like Outdoor Ed, materials technology and engineering. By the time he got to Year 12 he was looking around at alternatives and decided to give the Trades Academy Civil Infrastructure programme a go. “I’d thought about civil construction as an option for the future, but back then I didn’t really have any idea what it was all about until I did the Trades programme. It opened my eyes to the different roles and opportunities available in the industry.” Joshua got on really well with his tutor, who he says “kept it real” and was always keen to help the students on the programme who wanted to learn more.
During his Trades Academy programme, Joshua completed a 4 week work placement with Fulton Hogan and from there he was offered fulltime employment. Joshua has now completed his Wheels, Tracks and Rollers Licence and has worked his way up to become a machine operator. This role takes him to many different work sites, including the new airport development, as well as new subdivisions in Nelson and Richmond.
Joshua and his crew work long hours, but he says that the work is always changing and interesting. “One of the areas I work in is putting in new roads and building platforms. We have to follow complex plans and work to the exact GPS levels. It’s important to take responsibility for doing a good job as everything has to be signed off at the end.”
Joshua is grateful to Fulton Hogan for the experience and opportunities he’s been given over the past 18 months. He’s currently completing his Level 4 Certificate in Civil Infrastructure (Earthworks and Roading) and his short term goal is to work his way up and gain more experience in the industry so that he can take on a foreman’s role. In the future, Joshua would like to stay in Nelson, work his way up through the ranks and one day take on a management position. “There are always opportunities in this industry.”
His advice to students is not to leave school too soon, but to grab any opportunities to gain experience in different work environments. “Don’t settle for one thing right away. Have your eyes open and be prepared to work your way up. Don’t be scared to do the hard yards. If you work hard you’ll be respected by others.”