A year 11 student pursues plumbing

Posted on 2017-05-18 by CM

He might be only 15, but Jakeb is already showing he’s willing to go the extra distance to reach his goal of learning a trade. The year 11 Patea Area School student is part of the school’s Gateway programme and now spends one day a week out of the classroom, learning the ins and outs of plumbing with Hawera Company Evergreen Plumbing, Gas fitting and Drain Laying Ltd. Initially it wasn’t straightforward for Jakeb, who had a particular interest in plumbing. Jakeb’s family lives in Alton, about 12km out of Patea and there was no plumbing Gateway placement available in the area. Despite this, Jakeb was determined to get some workplace experience and a placement was arranged with local company Hooper Engineering Ltd, where he helped out with engineering work and fabrication. After further discussion, Evergreen Plumbing offered to lend a hand and now Jakeb is getting a taste of life as a plumber. He now travels to Hawera once a week with one of the Evergreen staff who lives nearby.  

“I wanted to be a primary school teacher at one time, but I changed my plan because I like being hands-on and outside,” Jakeb says. “I like hard tech and workshop at school, and I like helping dad in the garage.” During his placement Jakeb helps with digging and laying pipe work, gas-fitting and general maintenance and works towards plumbing standards. At school he continues his level 1 subjects, which include science, mathematics and literacy. “I’ve been learning heaps and getting plenty of tips about plumbing,” he says. “I’m keen to carry on with plumbing when I leave school.” Evergreen co-owner Ben Annabell says Jakeb has impressed them with having a good attitude, showing interest and asking plenty of questions, the key traits employers look for in employees. “We’ve had Gateway students here in the past and think it’s really important to help young people,” Ben says. “There aren’t that many opportunities around this area so we’re happy to help someone out if we can.”


Taranaki Futures acknowledges and supports the achievements of young people in our region. Our vision is Strong Employment, Strong People, Stronger Communities.