Phil McShane

Workplace Apprenticeship Educator, Palmerston North, NZ 


Decades of industry and mentorship experience

Hailing from Palmerston North, Phil McShane brings decades of experience to his role as a Workplace Apprenticeship Educator.  

When asked about his motivation for joining Builders Academy, Phil shares: "I love working alongside experienced builders willing to lend their knowledge to the future of our industry." 

For him, the opportunity to shape the quality of building and construction talent in New Zealand, one apprentice at a time, is not just a job but a mission. 

A skill that sets Phil apart is his keen eye for recognising and addressing the diverse needs of his apprentices. 

"Over my 30 years in the industry, I've worked with apprentices from all walks of life, including those with learning disabilities.” 

Reflecting on his extensive career, before Phil joined Builders Academy, he recalls a poignant moment when he identified an apprentice was struggling with a learning disability.  

"One day, I realised one of my apprentices was struggling with dyslexia.” 

Dyslexia is Specific Learning Disability (SLD) that can present significant challenges in learning to read, write, or do numerical work. 

“To help her, I knew I had to go beyond conventional teaching methods. So, I proactively sourced a C-pen, a pocket-sized device that reads text aloud, to assist her with reading and writing tasks.” 

“By being willing to go above and beyond, I was able to motivate my apprentice to overcome barriers to learning.” 

Aware of the stigma and reluctance often associated with disclosing learning difficulties, Phil emphasises the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

"Many apprentices are too shy or ashamed to share their learning struggles with their teachers or mentors. As a WAE, it’s our responsibility to foster trust and understanding, ensuring that every apprentice feels empowered to seek assistance when needed.”

Drawing from his rich industry background, including 19 years at Alan Chard Construction, Phil incorporates valuable lessons into his teaching approach at Builders Academy. 

"At Alan Chard Construction, I learned the importance of attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship. These principles form the cornerstone of my training philosophy, guiding apprentices towards excellence in their craft."