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TTAF supporting new pathways for learners through COVID-19 challenges

From coffee to carpentry

Thirty-two-year old Soaga Huch has been immersed in coffee for the past seven years, working across a number of roles for a South Auckland-based coffee company.  During that time, he serviced coffee machines, packed orders, and learnt the finer points of grinders and roasters.  But it was time to move on, and a career in carpentry had always appealed.  Soaga, who’s a father of five, enrolled in the one-year Certificate in Construction Trades Skills at Unitec under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) and started his studies at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus last week.  He’s hoping to be work-ready within the year, and is looking forward to being ‘on the tools’ of a different kind in his new role.

Flying high on a new career journey

Luke Emerson had worked in the airline industry for 12 years when COVID-19 struck.  He started his flying career with Jetstar Australia and then moved home to New Zealand three years ago where he switched to flying international routes with Air New Zealand.  He was one of several hundred pilots made redundant in early May when the airline had to make dramatic cuts to its domestic and international flight schedules due to the effects of COVID-19.
Luke and his wife have just renovated their Mt Eden home and Luke was keen to find out more about construction and design so he could do work on future projects himself and turn it into a possible career. He enrolled for a Diploma in Architectural Technology under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) and started at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus last week.  Although he’s not sure what the future holds for him, he says it’s great to have the opportunity to learn new vocational skills that he can put to practical use.  Doing the two-year Diploma course also gives 36-year-old Luke the option to do a degree course as an add-on.

From cooking to construction

Thirty-eight-year old Jessica has been a chef in cafes and restaurants across Auckland over the past 15 years, but the onset of COVID-19 forced her to rethink her career options.  The hospitality sector felt the effects of lockdown, and Jessica says it was time for a change.  A career in trades had always appealed, so Jessica, who’s a mum of one, enrolled in the one-year Certificate in Construction Trades Skills at Unitec under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) and started her studies at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus last week.  She says she’s loving it so far, and is looking forward to being on the tools in her new role.

Realising his dream to help others

Twenty-seven-year old Sean Woon has worked in hospitality, security, labouring and hotels but his heart is set on helping others.  He’s in his second semester of Unitec’s Level 4 Certificate in Health & Wellbeing (Mental Health and Addiction Support), and is loving it – he says he’s learnt so much about the skills needed to work with people, whānau groups, and communities – but also about himself.  Signing up for the course was driven by his desire to help people struggling with mental illness – and he’s looking at doing a Nursing degree after completing the one-year Certificate course.