Name: Shevonne Evans
Job: BCITO architectural aluminium joinery apprentice
What does your job entail? Manufacturing aluminium joinery i.e. aluminium windows and doors.
How long have you been doing it? Two and a half years.
What attracted you to this line of work? I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life then an opening came up for an apprenticeship. I applied and I got it.
What training was involved? After a three-month trial, I started my apprenticeship for BCITO. I completed the 24-month programme in 18 months.
What do you love most about your job? It’s hands on and I learn something new every day.
And what are the worst bits? Initially it was frustrating because I couldn’t lift as much as the others. I’m stronger now and I’ve learnt it’s about getting the right techniques to lift. Also when contractors and builders came in, they’d underestimate what I could do and what I knew. When they come in now, they say ‘can you give us a hand, Shevonne?’ I’ve earned their respect.
What motivates you in your work? To prove that ladies can do everything.
What are your career goals? Alongside BCITO I want to encourage more women into trades. I want to own and operate a business within the construction industry.
Do you have any key mentors or people who have influenced you? My father Shaun Evans. He started the business I work for now, from the ground up. It burnt down and he started again. He’s been running it for 30-odd years now along with his business partner Lyn Olliff, who has also been a big influence on my working life. Also my training advisor from BCITO pushed me the hardest to learn and to apply for scholarships and awards [Shevonne was the 2017 runner-up architectural aluminium joinery apprentice of the year]. He got me to enter the local adult learner awards, which I won, and because of him I also applied and sat as one of two apprentices on the BCITO Summit Panel.
Where did you grow up and what was it like? I grew up in Tokoroa and went to Forest View High School. I was a rough-it and tough-it type of girl. Me and my twin brother would go hunting together. Our family’s idea of fun is being outdoors.