When Mark Watson completed his apprenticeship in Brain Injury Rehabilitation Support, he never imagined that it would lead him to the Beehive to meet Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins.

Watson, a Community Support Worker by trade, is one of the Got a Trade Ambassadors for 2018. He showed real passion for the job and was nominated by his Careerforce Apprenticeship Advisor.

Originally from Scotland, where he originally completed a Masters of Arts, he says he relished the opportunity to complete his apprenticeship, and loves being at the front line in providing care and support to people with physical or neurological impairments. He has found his niche, his passion.

“As a Community Support Worker I’m not here to do things for them.  I’m here to enable them to reach their full potential. Seeing people develop, improve, become independent. It’s a really amazing feeling.”

“I’m so excited to be here at Parliament today to meet the Minister and share my story. I want to encourage young people to give apprenticeship a try.”

He said doing an apprenticeship is like nothing he’s ever done before.

“This apprenticeship has been essential for me, I can apply all my learning straight away and I get the relevant qualification.  I’m also getting paid and getting onsite experience.”

Watson is grateful for the support of his workplace, Laura Fergusson Trust in Naenae, who gave him the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship through industry training organisation, Careerforce. He said the apprenticeship has given him the essential skills he needed for his job.

Challenging the traditional notion or public perception of apprenticeships, Careerforce has now signed up well over 1000 health & wellbeing apprentices since their launch in 2016, and covering a diverse range of roles. These apprenticeship programmes are critical in attracting people to careers in the sector, and in helping to address the workforce shortages.

Now as an ambassador, he adds his voice in encouraging young people to consider an apprenticeship. The industry training organisations in trades and services are working with around 25,000 employers across New Zealand to support 146,000 trainees and apprentices to earn and learn on-the-job, achieving nationally recognised qualifications.

To strongly recommends to young people working in the health and wellbeing sector.

“I would honestly say go for it. It’s such a rewarding job. You’re seeing the people, you’re seeing the results and you’re there making a difference.”

Main image: Got a Trade Ambassadors 2018

Second image: Hon. Chris Hipkins today awarding certificates to Got a Trade Ambassadors in Parliament.


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