"Seventeen year-old Tiori Edwards is thrilled to be working out on the roads with the guys at Downer."
Frank Collins is Tiori’s Foreman. He’s says taking on the young guys from school is like coaching a rugby team.
“You have to show them everything before they start. Working on the road can be dangerous; we have to teach them that safety comes first before everything else,” says Frank.
“I’m working with a good bunch of people and Frank’s a good teacher – hard but good,” jokes Tiori.
Just six months ago Tiori was still at school at Mana College. He’s delighted with the opportunities the job has opened up for him especially being able to get his licences to drive some of the big equipment.
“It’s great. I’m learning every day from the crew about to work on the roads and I plan to go as far as I can with Downer.”
Working for a large company like Downer is a real opportunity for a school leaver says Senior Foreman Warren Kaiwai.
“We have professional development plans for all staff. If they want to further their career they can with opportunities for civil engineering, construction management, project management etc. They train while they are working under the NZQA system so it’s like an apprenticeship.
“A lot of the guys come into this industry not knowing a career path, but we do roads, parks, technology solutions, design, and all sorts of other amazing things. These guys get the opportunity to be a part of that and to transfer into other departments along the way as well,” says Warren.