Apprentice lights the way for others

Kirste Floyd NZ Apprenticeships

Tamea Te Rauna is not one to be tied to a desk. Her first career was with the Royal NZ Navy as a chef. When her time in the Navy ended she cast around for new career ideas and struck upon an advertisement from WEL Networks because the hands-on nature of the work appealed.

Tamea is now more than a year into her cable jointing apprenticeship with WEL and Connexis and loving it. “I really liked the idea of doing an apprenticeship because you get a qualification at the end of it, and you can earn while you’re doing it.”

While she loves the work of being a cable jointer, one thing that has surprised her in taking on the role is how few women cable jointers are around.

“I think a lot of women just don’t know about it as a job. It’s not as high profile as some other trades. It is quite a hard job sometimes and it’s not going to appeal to everyone, but I get really great satisfaction from it; from doing something practical and seeing the finished result.”

Tamea is doing her bit to try and raise the profile of cable jointing – and infrastructure trades in general – among young women by taking part in Connexis Girls with Hi-Vis events hosted by WEL Networks.

She participated in GWHV in 2023, helping visiting students through some basic tasks required of a cable jointer and will be doing the same at WEL Networks’ 2024 GWHV event in May.

She says while many of the students haven’t heard a lot about cable jointing as a career before attending GWHV, they are generally interested in the activities and finding out more about what the job, or other infrastructure trades might involve.

“It’s also a really great chance just to meet and talk to women working in the job. If you come into this job, you’re not alone. If I can do it, anyone can do it!”

“One day you’re in a trench the next you’ll be under a sub-station. It’s always different.”