By John Son

Andrew Leota is heading back to his homeland of Samoa later this month, but he won’t be there on holiday. Instead, he’ll be making a real difference to the lives of the locals, while also building his own foundations for a successful career in the trades.

Andrew, 34, is currently doing a pre-trades electrical engineering course at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT). He’s been selected as part of a Maori & Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) group to visit Samoa with Habitat for Humanity, working on houses in Upolu.

The work will involve both completing unfinished homes as well as building brand new ones for families in need. While the trip will give Andrew plenty of valuable on-job experience for his training, he says it’s not the only reason he’s going.

“I’m motivated by the opportunity to go back home and help the people and the community,” he says.

Andrew says it will also be interesting to learn about the different styles in working between Samoa and New Zealand.

“I know they’re pretty similar, but there are little differences in tastes and styles of working, for example,” he explains.

“There’s a lot more emphasis on hands-on work in Samoa, so it will be great to get exposure to that.”

In addition to the chance to develop his skills and help people in need, Andrew says he is also looking forward to building professional relationships while in Samoa and expanding his career options.

Andrew will be working as part of the MPTT/Habitat for Humanity project team in Samoa, from August 19 to September 2, 2017. He will be travelling with Tony Laulu, Pasifika Adviser at Skills.

Stay tuned on the Skills website and social media channels for updates from the project. If you’d like to read about the MPTT project to Fiji that Skills was part of last year, check out this article: https://skills.org.nz/news/trades/aspiring-tradies-giving-back-to-the-community.

Andrew Leota and Tony Laulu.

Andrew Leota and Tony Laulu.