Catherine McKenzie

Carpentry Graduate

Programme attended: Carpentry (Level 3)

Catherine McKenzie was looking for a better lifestyle when she enrolled in Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Carpentry programme, packed-up her belongings and moved to the West Coast. A little over a year later, she’s working full-time and says she hasn’t looked back.

“I’d worked in a variety of jobs but I wanted to do something new,” she says. After looking in to various training options, Catherine chose TPP because it offered her the chance of a new lifestyle on the West Coast.

“I love the small community and the environment. My dream is to build a house one day – I’ve even looked into tiny houses to get started.

“The Carpentry programme was really good, if I hadn’t done the training I wouldn’t have been offered the job opportunities that I have so far. You learn so much through the practical work – you can’t learn this stuff from reading a book.

Catherine found work with a local builder as soon as she completed the Carpentry programme in 2018. She’s since tried her hand in some different roles and has settled in to a structures maintenance job with KiwiRail.

“Doing the training really helped me get ahead. It just goes to show that you can pretty much do anything if you give it a go and you’re prepared to put in a bit of effort.”