Empowerment, Education, Enterprise
Jacob Ward admits he struggled with subjects like English at school. When Oceania Career Academy / Trades at School visited Alfriston College in Manurewa he immediately knew it was what he wanted.
“I was in Year 11 and I knew guys in the year above me who tried it out the year before,” Jacob recalls.
“When I heard about how hands-on it was, I really wanted to do it.”
His keenness grew when he gained some first-hand experience at Metal Skills in East Tamaki, an innovative leader in the metal manufacturing sector.
Jacob began as a general hand, going around the factory and assisting where and when needed. When he was given the graveyard shift, it enabled him to “have a go at everything”, with the extensive range of metal machinery providing a variety of experiences.
It has helped him discover what he wants to do.
“I did programming design at school, but working here is really hands on and gives me a real understanding of how our various machines work and what they can do. I also realised that I enjoy working with metal far more than wood, which is softer, has knots and is easier to mess up” he says, with a laugh.
“So I’m in the perfect place.”
He's now working as a Metal Fabricator full time at Metal Skills.
After many years of frustration at school, he’s now genuinely excited at what the future holds.
“Once you complete your apprenticeship, there are so many options available to you. For others considering the path I’ve been on, I say to keep an open mind, try everything and make the most of those experiences.”