With New Zealand screaming out for workers skilled in the construction industry, students like Narcisse Carr have their wits about them, knowing they will be in hot demand once their studies have finished.
Narcisse completed her Certificate in Joinery, graduating in 2016. One of only two females on her course, she quickly became a skilled joiner, her interest in woodwork fostered from a young age by helping out with projects in her dad’s garage.
Despite her love of woodwork, it had to be put on the backburner while she completed a cookery course which led to her becoming a chef. Eventually, she realised her love of food and cooking was becoming more of a chore in her down time and this led to a re-evaluation of her priorities and career aspirations. A career in the food/hospitality industry began to become less appealing and as memories of days in her dad’s garage came to the fore, she began looking at courses which would incorporate her love of woodwork.
Originally thinking of doing a carpentry course, she then discovered joinery which allows for more detailed and intricate work, something that appealed to her as an artist. Friends recommended the Certificate in Joinery at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT), as SIT offers a new joinery facility that many believe is the best in New Zealand.
Moving to Invercargill from Dunedin, Narcisse describes the course as “top notch” and would highly recommend it to any potential joinery students. The machine shop students work in is large and contains high quality, modern industrial machinery which is used to manufacture kitchens, furniture, doors, windows and cabinetry.
Narcisse flew through her course work and coming into the end of the year had finished well before most of her classmates. One of the tutors selected herself and another capable student for an extra project which would help hone their skills and give them valuable experience. The project was to build a new front counter for the main reception at SIT’s Tay Street campus. It was turned out in an impressive two and a half weeks and now has pride of place in the centre of reception, displaying its professional finish and providing a modern, spacious and functional work space.
Upon graduating, Narcisse made the decision to continue studying and is now undertaking a National Diploma in Architectural Technology. Her experience at SIT has been overwhelmingly positive and the Certificate in Joinery a stepping stone to give her a background in the practical side of building and joinery, which is standing her in good stead to move into the architectural side of things. As an artist, the drawing and design concepts involved in the architectural technology course are in line with her talents, and aspects she is enjoying.
Long term, Narcisse is thinking about starting her own business and her background in both joinery and architectural technology will be invaluable experience. There is a shortage of skilled construction personnel in New Zealand and so there has never been a better time to gain a qualification, or in Narcisse’s case two, in the construction industry.
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