Working at Donaldson Civil with Madi

When Madi left school, she was not sure what she wanted to do – all she knew was that she didn’t want to be inside or sitting down each day. She reached out to Donaldson Civil who quickly took her on board and Madi has given it 110% ever since. Madi’s role at Donaldson Civil is Apprentice Infrastructure Pipe Layer. She is responsible for all the underground work to ensure a house’s Water, Sewer and Stormwater all flow correctly during the construction process.

Madi began doing a bit of everything as she was eager to learn and get stuck in. After trying out different work areas of the industry, she discovered she most enjoyed working in trench, which she then began her apprenticeship. The apprenticeship takes about two and half years to complete and is a mix of theory and practical on the job work. A Connexis trainer comes to site once a month and those that are doing an apprenticeship get to spend the afternoon with him and ask any questions. The bookwork is handed to an assessor and once they are all completed the qualification is awarded.

We asked Madi what she enjoys most about her job:

“I like that it’s outside and that I get to do things every day that I like and that it’s not always the same. You are laying the pipes and installing the manholes, installing and connecting the fittings, then connecting the house laterals. In this industry you are always working with others, which makes the day go fast as well as supporting and helping each other out”.

She has learnt many skills, such as how to set up a laser, how the laser and the digger have to operate together, to make sure that the digger is online, digging out, putting pipes in and making sure the pipes are online and at the right height. Also how to do all connections and fittings for houses and understanding how to put in all the services. She knows how to put in a manhole, concrete inside it to shape into a pipe, then plaster it so there is a smooth surface for water to flow through.

Madi enjoys living in the Nelson Tasman region, getting away for long weekends, jumping on the quadbikes and spending time with her partner and friends.

Here is some advice from Madi:

“Just do it! You do have to have a backbone, prove yourself and work hard. Do the best you can, have a positive attitude – if you are passionate, the rest will come.”