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Will Halligan smiling standing in front of fruit tree

Combining work and study

For Taupō-based Will Halligan, a Connexis apprenticeship in wastewater treatment is adding a new dimension to his career.

On the face of it, Will Halligan has quite enough going on. As the Acting Maintenance Manager at Wairakei Resort near Taupō he is responsible for all of the resort’s water needs, from the intake of water downstream from world-famous Huka Falls (the water is tested daily for quality) to the waste water and sewage treatment facilities that help the expansive 187-room resort run seamlessly.

A year ago, with the support and encouragement of Wairakei Resort senior management, Will embarked on a New Zealand Apprenticeship in Wastewater Treatment with Connexis.

“I started at Wairakei six years ago as a painter and decorator,” Will says, “and after a couple of years I was asked to assist the wastewater manager, who has since retired. Things just grew from there.”

The growth includes Will’s recent involvement in a major renovation of the resort’s wastewater plant and equipment which dates back to 1964.

“Combining my management role with study was a challenge at first,” he says. “As a mature-age worker the computer-based study and the upskilling that went with it was a bit of a learning curve. And so was finding the time to study – but now I love it!

“The Connexis study programme is really good. It’s cool and interactive and the teaching videos are an especially good way to explain and communicate things and how they are done. It’s very easy to apply all the learnings to my day to day work.”

Will says he is enjoying his apprenticeship studies so much that he has plans to tackle a second apprenticeship in water treatment. The study course, he adds, has given a new dimension to his work.

“I didn’t realise till now how large the water treatment sector is in New Zealand – there are facilities of various kinds right throughout the country – and how much scope there is for using the transferable skills that my studies are giving me.”

“Studying with Connexis has also made me realise what a satisfying industry I’m in. You are directly involved in delivering a vital resource for people, which is exciting. My studies are also paying dividends because I’m told that the plant at Wairakei Resort has never operated better. That spurs me on to keep improving things.”

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