Photo: Mussolini Crawley, from Pipeline & Civil receiving his ‘Apprentice of the Year’ recognition at the CCNZ Auckland branch awards from sponsor Roald Badenhorst, the division manager at Stellar Recruitment.
Mussolini Crawley from Pipeline & Civil is an emerging industry leader who won the CCNZ Auckland branch 2022 Apprentice of the Year award.
Congratulations on that your award, Mussolini, what does this win mean to you?
Winning the award means a lot. To be acknowledged, not just within Pipeline & Civil but by the broader industry, is an amazing feeling, especially when I didn’t think I would win. It just goes to show that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and pays off.
Where were you raised and where did you do your schooling?
I was born and raised in Apia, Samoa until my early teen years before moving here.
Schooling was a bit different with me, as I attended several different schools due to moving back and forth between Samoa and New Zealand because of family matters.
In Samoa I attended Robert Louis Stevenson primary and college. Here, I attended Avondale College and finished off my last year at Mt Albert Grammar.
I also studied science at Auckland University for two years because I wanted to get into environmental engineering, as I thought it would be an appropriate learning for Samoa, if I were ever to move back home. I never managed to finish my studies as my partner and I were expecting a child and I had to get a job to provide for my new family as soon as possible.
How did you get into this industry – why, when, and where did you start? How long have your been with Pipeline & Civil?
I got into the industry through a cousin of mine as a labourer and worked on a project in Mt Roskill installing new stormwater line/manholes etc.
When I first started at Pipeline and Civil in 2017, my goal was to make as much money as possible so that I can make ends meet at home. I would take any hours available and work most Saturdays to prove I was a reliable worker. As time went by, my goal changed from making money to trying to become successful in terms of achievements.
So that became upskilling myself in any way possible and finishing off my apprenticeship. The more achievements I gained through training, and with the support of Pipeline & Civil, the more I was convinced that I was meant for this industry.
I have now worked with Pipeline & Civil for six years and have been a site supervisor for three of those years.
What qualifications do you now have?
I have completed my level 4 Connexis qualification in infrastructure-industry training in pipeline construction and maintenance, and have been awarded a New Zealand Apprenticeship.
What project are you currently working on and what worksite activities do you perform?
I am currently on a project in Wellington assisting Connell Contractors and McConnell Dowell with PE welding and installing a new 1m diameter PE sewer rising main along Barber Grove Road into the pump station.
Are there any jobs you particularly like and dislike doing?
I enjoy doing what I am doing so there are no jobs that I dislike. I see difficult jobs as a challenge and opportunity to show my worth, and as a way to upskill by learning new things. Also, every single task has a purpose, even if it’s sweeping the road or looking out for traffic. These tasks are just as important as operating a big machine and play a big part on all projects.
What do you hope to do when your apprenticeship finishes?
My goal at the moment is to become a project manger and get my degree in engineering, So, it does not stop at the apprenticeship. I will carry on with training through Connexis and slowly achieve this goal. And, for the moment, I will learn as much as I can on the ground and how to run various jobs.
I understand you have a Samoan background.
I love my culture and what I love the most are the ‘principals‘ around the Samoan culture such as respect for your elders, looking after and obeying your parents always, and being humble and considerate. There are also our traditions.
I was raised through the Samoan culture and am grateful because it has made me into the person I am. Dad holds a high chief title in Samoa and its inspiring how he not only looks after his family and extended family, but also the whole village when they are in need.
It always reminds me of a saying; “A good man draws a circle and cares for those within. Some draw a circle and only bring their brothers and sisters and immediate family within it, while others have a greater destiny. They must draw around themselves a circle that includes many, many more.”
This drives me to wanting to get a Tatau tattoo ( Samoan ceremony ritual). I believe it is something sacred in our culture and must be earned. So, before getting it, I have much to learn from my elders before I consider myself worthy.
I apply my culture aspects in everything I do, which also includes my working life such as how I treat everyone around me, especially my seniors, and how I handle different task.
Treating everyone with the upmost respect and being always polite, will get the same treatment back, which creates a positive and open environment.
Any other thoughts on your career and the industry you would like to share?
Take every single opportunity you can to upskill yourself. Have a goal set up and a goal to achieve that. And, just remember, time waits for no one – so make the most of it.
And just stay positive in every situation, because hard work definitely pays off and, as I found, will not go unnoticed.