Student Profile

Photo of Matthew Garlick

Matthew Garlick - Painting (Trade)

“You’re never too old to change it up. I had been in retail for 20 years then had some digestion issues so took some time out and started doing some plastering for a builder. It was less demanding physically and mentally, so I looked at my strengths and decided house painting was something I could do.”

“I’m amazed at how satisfying it is. There’s a real sense of accomplishment to see what you’ve done at the end of the day and there’s plenty of scope to advance in skill levels. We also cover a lot more than I was expecting – learning about scaffolding and health and safety.”

“The tutors here are very understanding and kind, even with logistics like a tutor doing home drop-offs for some of us on his way to and from work because, in our case, our family shares one vehicle. There’s a big support net here at NorthTec too from nurses, advisors and financial guides that makes me feel very at home. The other students are also very accepting and, as a mature student, it’s humbling getting to know some of the younger ones.”

“Now that I’ve got my confidence I may go on to level 3 with some of the other students, then I’d like to start working in this industry before starting my own business. In the meantime, I feel I’m also being a role model to show my kids how we can adapt to life’s changes and still progress. I’m a father of two and so I have responsibilities at home, and the temporary dip in income while I study impacts us all. But my wife is proud and I’m loving what I’m learning and the possibilities ahead.”


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