Putting study into the mix when you're working full time is no mean feat, but for Willie Faalili, the challenge was worth it.
Between labouring jobs, helping his family and warehouse work, the 31-year-old completed a Certificate in Applied Technology, majoring in Carpentry with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
Willie says, being a student that still needed to make a living, the level four programme at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae in Māngere, was just the ticket.
"I needed to study in between work hours but I really enjoyed what I was doing and realised that the knowledge I was learning in carpentry had the ability to take me places."
As well as becoming knowledgeable around the health and safety aspects of the building industry - including legislation and compliance - Willie also refined his skills - measuring things correctly, operating power, portable and hand tools - by building a single level, timber-framed relocatable house with his classmates.
"I'm surrounded with family members who are chippies and I've always had those times where I'd give a hand," he says.
"I've learned new skills to use in the future and hopefully I'm able to find employment in this area."
Overall, he says it was worthwhile "big time".
"I really enjoyed the course, it exceeded my expectations and I learned heaps. I met some good people too," he says.
"It was a cool place to learn. A good learning experience."