Trae Wawatae is a 23-year-old baker from Quality Bakers in Auckland. Trae has been baking for six years and is two and a half years into his apprenticeship.
Leaving school at 17 and needing a job, he found work with the Gluten Free Goodman Fielder brand in his home town of Huntly. After two years there making bread cakes and slices, he was offered a Cadetship at Auckland Quality Bakers. Starting out in Small Goods, he now works on the Vogels line.
Trae says he most enjoys problem solving at work. After being a Team Leader on the night shift, he realised that he was good at making on-the-spot decisions, something he had to do when there was no-one else to look to for advice in the middle of the night. He says his ability to learn quickly is also a strength that has served him well in his job.
Trae entered the Young Bread Baker of the Year Competition as a learning experience and because he regards it as one of the better opportunities available to young bakers. He says winning would be a huge gain for him.
Trae is looking forward to more technical roles in the future and the opportunity to think on his feet and keep learning.
Away from work, Trae is dad to a six year old, and enjoys gaming when he gets the chance. He also plays rugby.