Richie Funganitao

Richie Funganitao

Apprentice, Auckland


Tongan apprentice shares significance of mentorship in building careers 

Richie Funganitao’s success story is a testament to the transformative power of mentorship and perseverance. 

John Wood, the seasoned Workplace Apprenticeship Educator who mentored Richie through his apprenticeship, vividly recalls their initial encounter. 

"Richie's enthusiasm was palpable," John reminisces. 

Despite initial hesitations, Richie's unwavering persistence in attending classes and his determination to learn was evident to John. 

Richie's apprenticeship spanned three and a half years, during which he faced similar challenges familiar to his peers. 

What was central to Richie's journey were the weekly night classes, which became a cornerstone of his development. 

"John's commitment to ensuring attendance and offering hands-on guidance proved instrumental in my academic progress," Richie reflects. 

Through these sessions, Richie not only acquired theoretical knowledge but also honed his practical skills, laying a robust foundation for his future endeavours. 

Amidst the tumult of the Covid pandemic and personal commitments, Richie pressed on. 

"John's encouragement propelled me forward during the toughest times. His mentorship extended beyond the classroom, providing me with life advice and words of encouragement when I needed it.” 

In June 2023, a wave of relief and accomplishment washed over Richie as he attained his qualification. 

"Knowing I possessed a valuable skill set provided a safety net for future endeavours.” 

John, brimming with pride at Richie's achievements, acknowledges the significance of their shared journey and eagerly anticipates supporting Richie in his future ventures. 

"John's dedication to the success of his apprentices has left an indelible mark. It has shaped my journey and set me on a path to a fulfilling career in the construction industry." 

Watch the full interview.