Auckland’s construction and engineering sectors are about to get a fresh injection of skilled workers, following the graduation of 43 students from Aspire2 Trades and the New Zealand Welding School.
Students’ efforts were officially recognised during a special graduation ceremony which was held at the Aspire2 Trades Wiri campus last Wednesday evening. It was the first-ever graduation ceremony for Aspire2 Trades, which delivers vocational training in forklift operation and painting and decorating. It was also the first New Zealand Welding School graduation to be held since their recent move from Papakura to Wiri.
Attended by a large crowd of family, friends and supporters, it was a great chance to recognise the efforts of those graduating and share in their success.
“I am very proud of each and every one of you,” said Programme Delivery Manager Michael Lortan. “You have all stuck it out, and seen it through, and achieving these qualifications is a huge milestone.”
Cornerstone Group CEO Linda Weterman encouraged graduates to keep striving to follow their dreams, and not let setbacks destroy their resolve.
Today is the time to publicly acknowledge your success,” she said. “This is only the beginning of your opportunities and the chance to start realising your dreams. Success depends mostly on your attitude and experience, some of it depends on the people around you and your skills, and a tiny bit is on luck or chance. Many of you have had a bumpy road but tonight you have successfully reached your destination, and I congratulate you all. The bumpy road will always be there – that’s called life. But you now have the resilience and tools you need to navigate that road and succeed.”
Certificates were presented to 15 painting and decorating students, 10 forklift students, 11 welding and fabrication students and 7 advanced welding students, all of whom were clearly delighted with their achievements.
Forklift graduate Terehia Elliott was one of the top achievers in her cohort, and after impressing staff and tutors throughout her course she was asked to stay on at Aspire2 Trades as a teacher aide, and eventually a forklift tutor.
“Aspire2 Trades has changed my life,” said Terehia. “Before enrolling to study forklift training I’d spent more than a year unemployed. But by coming here I’ve gained knowledge and skills, I’ve attained my forklift licence for counterbalance and high reach, and I’ve completed a Certificate in Career Preparation for Trades Support (Level 3).
“Now I’ve come full circle and have been given the opportunity to be a forklift tutor at Aspire2 Trades, to come back and inspire others in my community, and to help set them on their own career paths in the forklift industry. It has been a very humbling experience and I am loving it.
“I am proud to say I’ve come a long way since that first day on campus. But I am not just proud of myself – I am proud of everyone here who has completed their course and attained their licences. Tonight’s graduation ceremony celebrates the success of our hard work, determination, and all the time and effort we put into gaining our certificates. Big ups to us all!”
And Terehia’s parting tip?
“To everybody else out there that may be considering becoming a part of our Aspire2 family, my advice to you is this: as long as you bring determination, a can-do attitude and believe in yourself, you can be successful.
“As someone once said: There is no elevator to success, you must take the stairs. And the bottom of those stairs starts right here!”