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Alert Level 2 at NorthTec - Online learning will continue as much as possible. Where a return to campus is necessary, tutors will contact students directly.
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Studying doesn’t have to mean giving up your work or home life. Flexible options allows you to choose how you learn.
“I wanted to work in a trade and I wanted something that would make me think, so I looked into uni but it wasn’t for me. I’m from up north and lived on a farm so I knew some of the basics of electrical engineering and knew I was interested. A couple of friends also applied for the course here so I signed up and it’s just what I wanted.”
“We learn a lot of cool stuff about motors, lighting and cool-storage and even my maths is better than I thought because the info is applied to something. When I finish the course I will apply for an apprenticeship which I think will be easier to get after this pre-training.”
“Electrical engineering is really broad and it’s too soon to know which area I’ll focus on but at the moment I’m looking at industry which seems more varied than domestic work.”
“I was doing construction as work experience at school for an hour a day and loving it so I knew I wanted to go into building. Some of my mates had done this course so I signed up straight after the school holidays.”
“It’s so much easier to learn here than at school because we’re doing what we love, the tutors are really cool, and we’re independent so we do the work because we want to not because we’re told to.”
“I’m the youngest in the course and it was hard at first because I had no mates here, but now we all know each other and get on well. When I finish here I hope to get an apprenticeship. The tutors have good connections to help with that but I’ll find my own as well.”
“My dream is to build my own house, be my own boss and have some people working for me. To other students out there that don’t like school but are into something else, I’d say go and do the training for what you’re interested in."
“I now look forward to Mondays to learn more, and I find rolling paint on walls soothing and very satisfying. Two months before starting this course I quit my job in a warehouse and was just chilling at home. A friend was doing level 4 in this painting course and said level 2 still had some spaces and was fees-free, so I wanted to give it a go. I always used to do drawings and colour them, so I’m loving it.”
“The only tricky bit for me is masking out for the windows and doors but I’m improving at that now. I’m surprised that we also do plastering, scaffolding and health and safety, so I’m enjoying learning new things. The students are a real mix of backgrounds and ages but we all get along well and the older ones have already done some painting and plastering so we help each other out.”
“We’re already painting as a class around NorthTec’s Raumanga campus with the tutors supervising, and if we go on and complete level 3 and 4, a group of us might invest in a van and tools, hire some scaffolding and start a business. With the boom in housing there’s plenty of painting work around.”
“My real dream though is to spray-paint cars – and the level 4 programme teaches us spray-painting.”
“In the north we have a huge reliance on our vehicles to get to work and take our families and ourselves to where we need or want to be. Maintaining our vehicles is expensive so a lot of people either don’t use them and withdraw from the outer world – including work - or drive them in an unsafe condition. I see a need there that I may be able to help with.”
“My work background has been in admin and in early childhood and I was looking for something different. I retired in Auckland a few years ago then got some spiritual guidance to move up here. Some kids in a gateway programme I was involved in told me about this course and suggested I could do level 2 and 3. I had watched YouTube videos enough to fix my own car but I’ve never really been very hands-on, so this was a challenge for me.”
“However, I’m now learning a lot and starting to understand how cars work. I’ve done a lot of health work with medical missionaries and now I compare the physiology of a car with that of the body. The life blood of the car is oil. If our blood is clogged or toxic we’re unhealthy, and if a car’s oil is dirty the car is unhealthy.”
“Doing the paperwork for the unit standards is a challenge for me but my daughters are now helping me with my study. I enjoy our class and it’s a good balance of seriousness and a lot of laughs in a well-resourced environment.”
“When I complete the course I hope to have the knowledge and confidence to help our community with keeping their cars on the road in an affordable way. Ngapuhi health and social services have yet to acknowledge the huge dependence we have up here on our vehicles. I’ve seen too many people driving around with no brakes or no warrant of fitness because they can’t afford the repairs and need to get to work.”
“I’d love to start a type of ‘Man Cave’ for vehicles where people can bring their car in and I can diagnose what’s wrong and give some idea of what it would cost to fix it. I would then discern if there was something in the way of getting it fixed (finances, health etc.) and then help get that sorted out. I could also maybe advise a family when they are trying to decide what the best value car for them to buy is. Getting this ticket would be a start to validating my knowledge and my role. Things are still in the exploratory stage but already there is some interest from local organisations.”
“My motivation to study Automotive Engineering was partly personal need, partly for a career change, and partly financial. I’d been working in retail for 7 years and was ready for a change. I have three young kids so I wanted something I was interested in with flexible hours, and I was keen to train in a trade to up-level my earning capacity. I’m also very reliant on my own car and wanted to be more self-sufficient in repairing it.”
“At high school I was interested in cars but there was only engineering then and that wasn’t for me, so I decided it was time to explore my car interest again. NorthTec was easy to find, had a professional feel to it, has great resources and workshops, and I’m now loving everything about the course.”
“I love learning so many new things and it’s very satisfying being able to fix something. It’s also given me more appreciation of cars and their complexity. Our class is the first to do this through e-learning which really suits me. We still do our regular class schedule and practical and theory assignments, and the tutor is there to guide us and back us up, but we hardly use any paper or books. I love this aspect because I usually loose things and this keeps me in order.”
“I’m amazed that my initial motivation to do the course was a need, then became a want, and is now a passion. It’s all new and exciting and I’m retaining the knowledge because I’m interested. I really look forward to Mondays now, and at the moment I’m removing an engine, fixing it, and replacing it. The tutors are great and explain things to a beginner like me while still attending to those with more experience. We’re from all different backgrounds and trades, and more women are stepping up now so half of our class is female.”
“There are so many possibilities as to where this training can lead and at the moment I’m developing an interest in diesel mechanics, but my options are open and I’m keen to do an apprenticeship after this.”
“When I’ve got enough experience and confidence, I’d love to open a tiny workshop especially for female customers. It can be intimidating for women going into an auto workshop and they can feel vulnerable because of the lack of knowledge. I would run the workshop on my own terms working flexible hours that suited my life, and it could model a different way to do business.”
“I used to have a lot of excuses as to why I couldn’t move my life forward – the kids, or not enough time or money – but now that I’ve stepped up, I’d encourage others to just try something. Don’t let fear stand in your way – and you might find it’s easier and more fun than you expected.”
“I wanted to study something that there was a high demand for, that I loved, where I could earn while I studied, and that had a flexible work location. Having previously dabbled in Aeronautical Engineering, Engineering intrigued me but because I didn’t want to leave my local town to further this venture, I narrowed my options to agriculture and engineering and chose Civil Engineering because of the scope of the industry in Whangarei.”
“One of the engineering companies I came across offered me a job and study support so I signed up with NorthTec for Civil Engineering and opted to do my study part time over four years, with the goal to fast track it to just three years. I’m now part of a projects team, specialising in roading infrastructure construction. I’m loving working outside and I’m enjoying learning about the design aspects as well as the construction phases.”
“I’m amazed at how encouraging and dedicated the tutors are at NorthTec and they’re really flexible with fitting around our paid work commitments. I’m also enjoying connecting up the students by organising events and study groups for them. They come to me for advice and range from high school students to some in their 50s.”
“I was nominated to be this year’s Northland Student Rep on the Engineering NZ Board, and I’m also on the Women Infrastructure Network Northland Committee, encouraging high school students and young women into the infrastructure industries. I want to showcase the industry to girls and show them that we can do this and be accepted on construction sites. This can be the most daunting aspect but women are now often preferred on sites because we are willing to learn, have an eye for detail, follow orders, get things right the first time and are compassionate to deal with.”
“The challenge for me personally is working fulltime, sometimes up to 60 hours a week, and studying. The surprise, though, is that I’m managing to do it. I’m also not that great at maths but the tutors’ support with this is amazing.”
“This study has already changed my life. I realise how much I now know and that is reflected in my confidence and my ability to do the work. I’ve gone from being a trainee engineer to being a site engineer.”
“My next step is to finish my training which will lift me to the next job bracket, then when I have enough experience I want to work towards being a Site Manager. Later I’d love to be a Department or Project Manager.”
“To all the women out there thinking about careers in infrastructure, we can do this. We simply have to be competent and keen.”
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