Triplets Isiaha (Izzy), Keani and Jacob Edwards had an unsettled and, at times, separated upbringing, but were brought together and set on the right track by training in the construction industry.
Born when their parents were young, their mother left for Australia when they were six, and their father became their primary caregiver.
The family moved into their grandparents’ home, where up to 15 people often resided. Late night parties and early morning disturbances became the norm for the triplets.
Izzy says growing up in a hard environment taught them about personal character and the different paths available to them.
“Our hard-working grandad was an inspiration to us. He helped us realise that commitment and discipline would help us achieve a great life.”
Izzy left school to complete a pre-trade course at UCOL, while Keani completed a similar qualification at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. Following graduation, they moved to Auckland together and started working in construction.
“We were going well until our employer went into liquidation. Our boss then said he expected us to work on his house for free for two months.
“At the same time, our landlord removed our kitchen as it wasn’t consented. With no job or means of cooking food, we were in a bad place.”
The duo reached out to friends and family, with their mentor, and now employer, Quincy Tangiau putting them in contact with Doug Leef, a BCITO Training Advisor.
“Doug helped us work out how to resolve our situation and advance our careers. We decided to sign up for apprenticeships with the BCITO and haven’t looked back.”
Keani and Izzy completed their apprenticeships in 2017 and 2020 respectively. While Izzy is a builder in Auckland, Keani moved to Australia to work as a carpenter in high-rise buildings, and is studying for a Double Diploma in Building Construction Management and Project Management.
Their brother Jacob studied for a Diploma in Applied Fitness, and now owns a fire protection business.
Izzy says getting through his apprenticeship is a significant milestone.
“It has set a great foundation for the remainder of my career. My goal is to build a house for my family, who have been essential in helping me and my brothers along this journey.”
Keani recommends working hard and finding a career that you enjoy.
“If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. Be the one who works late and turns up on the weekend — that is when you learn the most.”
The BCITO needs more skilled people to become tradespeople. Find out more about how to start training your team and what support is out there for you at bcito.org.nz/employers.