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Mayors praise graduates' efforts

Jury

More than 70 Hawke’s Bay graduates of Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) were recognised at this year’s Mayors Taskforce for Jobs industry training graduation ceremony at Karamu High School last week.

On Wednesday night (May 1) a large number of graduates, their families, training organisation representatives and employers were joined by Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, Napier acting mayor Faye White, councillors and others to celebrate the graduates’ achievements.

All the graduates received a certificate recognising their successful completion of qualifications in trades and services, from organisations ranging from Primary ITO to Careerforce, Service IQ and BCITO.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the graduates’ skills and qualifications would go a long way towards supporting the region’s growing economy.

“Our region’s economy is booming with more than $700m of investment happening in Hastings alone.

“But to achieve our goals we need a skilled workforce. We need our own qualified people who can design and build our buildings, care for our people, grow our primary industries, provide quality infrastructure and offer the best service we can.

“Your new skills and qualifications will make our region an even better place to live.”

She also thanked the employers and educators who had helped these graduates on the path to their chosen career.

Napier acting mayor Faye White said the community shared the pride of the families who were celebrating the night with the graduates.

“We, the Hawke’s Bay whanau take reflected glory in your hard work and success. What makes your achievements even more admirable is that many of you have completed your qualifications while you’ve been working, many also juggling family commitments … I’m confident that our region will reap the benefits of your work in the decades to come.”

She said she was thrilled to see graduates from a diverse range of industries – from horticulture to retail, health and wellbeing, youth work, electrical engineering, road construction and maintenance, automotive and carpentry to name a few.

One graduate, Pearl Jury, had recently completed her New Zealand Certificate in Civil Works (Level 4) qualification, and received a Trade Certificate in Civil Earthworks – the only woman in the country to hold this.

One of the few women in the industry, she said she had worked for Gair Contracting since 2003, her role encompassing anything from building stopbanks to road building work.

This had entailed gaining a mastery of all manner of machinery from diggers to bulldozers and more.

“It’s a bit unique being a woman working with this machinery, although there are others - I was brought up in the country driving a lot of machinery so it’s not a big deal.”

She said it was challenging work, but she enjoyed that aspect, and being in the outdoors.

Being recognised at the graduation ceremony was a special occasion, she said.

“I really enjoyed it – I don’t usually like crowds but it was lovely to have the mayors there and all the young ones there – it was a nice atmosphere.”

Another Gair Contracting operator, Dan Mepham, was also recognised on the night, holding the same qualifications as Pearl, now the youngest in the country to gain the trade certificate.

The Mayors Taskforce was instigated in 2000. It has grown from a group of just seven of New Zealand’s mayors to now include all of the nation’s 67 mayors. The aim is to ensure all under 25 year olds are engaged in appropriate education, training, work or other positive activity in their communities.

Photo: Graduate Pearl Jury is congratulated by Napier acting mayor Faye White and Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst. Photo/Duncan Brown Photography

7 May 2019

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