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Engineering Cadetship for Wairoa College graduate

DMagio canva for web gallery

Quality Roading and Service's engineer cadet programme is combining on-the-job experience with formal study for Wairoa College graduate D'Magio Karangaroa.

D’Magio, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaaka, is QRS’s first engineering cadet for seven years. He will qualify with a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering after four years in the programme.

“Being a cadet gives a young person an unparalleled range of experiences while studying at a tertiary level and making money,” says QRS manager of routine maintenance Michelle Hedley. “It’s also a way of sparking someone’s passion for a career in civil infrastructure and that’s good for our company in the long run.”

Last year, while still at Wairoa College, D’Magio worked for QRS as a summer student. He was studying NCEA level 3 and thinking about pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. A teacher suggested that given his summer work experience, perhaps he should consider civil engineering. It was a perfect fit.

While working, D’Magio will study 16, level six block courses to earn his diploma from the New Zealand School of Engineering, Energy, and Infrastructure. Courses are held around New Zealand and D’Magio has been to the South Island three times this year.

“The courses can be intense,” he says. “You have to pace yourself.” He enjoys studying with like-minded students from around the country but admits he wasn’t that impressed with Christchurch. “It’s too cold there, and it felt big, and I wasn’t even in the main city!”

Project supervisors Quintin Baty and Jo Winiana (“the brains and the brawn,” says Jo) are mentors. “They all help me,” says D’Magio. “They answer all my questions and help me find roads I didn’t even know existed!”

Jo describes cadets as greenhorns. “We wanted to work with a cadet who knew nothing so that the company could teach him about what we do, how we do it, and why.” He says D’Magio is quiet and takes everything in. He asks questions and has an incredible brain for maths. The team is supportive. “We’d like to see this young man achieve. The sky’s the limit.”

QRS staff Chris McGregor and Quintin Baty are also working towards a Diploma in Engineering. 

9 June 2023

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