Local mum finds dream career through vocational training
Heidi Rogers is a mum of five children; her eldest is eighteen, and her youngest is just six months old. However, that didn’t stop her from thinking about the future and what it could hold for herself, her children, and other families like hers.
“I was thinking about moving,” confesses Heidi. “Leaving Whangārei and starting a new chapter somewhere else. Somewhere that would mean my kids and I could make a good life for ourselves. But I didn’t want to leave the area. My whole whanau are here.”
Heidi is currently studying the Certificate in Foundation Skills (level 2)- Construction at NorthTec | Te Pūkenga’s future trades campus in Whangārei after following her eldest daughter into vocational training.
“My oldest daughter started the course before me,” explains Heidi. “Every day she was coming home with new things she had made and new stories. I was watching her and thinking, I can do that. So, I jumped on the course with her.”
Undergoing vocational training has been a big step for Heidi, especially with a young baby in the family but she had many good things to say about the experience.
“I’ve really gained a lot of confidence doing this course, both in my skills with woodworking and my ability to study,” Heidi admits. “It’s not been as hard as I thought it would. I have all my support in place because I’m from the area and my family is here. My baby goes to kohanga just down the road, so I’m close and can easily get to the course in the morning.
“The tutors and the students have all been great and supportive and the course has been amazing. I’ve learnt so much. There’s something for everyone here and I really think studying at NorthTec can get anyone to their goal or dream job.”
She’s only been at it for a few weeks; however, she already has big plans for her newfound skills.
“I plan to continue with the course and eventually get an apprenticeship in woodwork. Then I want to start making children's furniture and create a business. There are a lot of families out there doing it tough right now and I want to be able to provide them with affordable, handmade, furniture that’s all-natural. None of the plastic that’s in every store nowadays.”
Heidi’s not the only one who’s interested in starting a business and helping out local families. Heidi’s daughter and two other women on the course are keen to join Heidi in her business venture creating custom children’s furniture.
“I’ve made some good friends on the course, and they want to join me and my daughter in creating solid wood furnishings. There’s a lot of need out there, and local sources are in demand too.”
Heidi’s parting words for anyone interested in following their passion are simple but clear.
“Just go for it, anyone can do it.”