Enrol now for semester one starting on January 21
Paula Lomu is a strapping young man on the verge of joining New Zealand’s next generation of soldiers. The 20-year-old has completed nearly all the formalities for being accepted into the New Zealand Army, and could be drafted early this year.
As a trainee, Paula could make approximately $30,000 a year – not bad for someone who did not finish school. The Otahuhu resident can thank Future Skills for that.
‘‘I never liked school, but always wanted to join the army,’’ Paula says. ‘‘I got a lifeline when my school recommended that I contact Future Skills.’’
The Manukau-based institute’s Bridging to the Armed Forces, which is a free course for 16 and 17 year olds under the Youth Guarantee scheme, was just what Paula was looking for.
‘‘More than anything else the course taught me discipline,’’ he says.
‘‘The intense physical training combined with the math and English classes gave me a sense of achievement and boosted my confidence.’’
Paula says his tutor, Parveen Kaur, is like a teacher, friend and mum rolled into one.
‘‘She helps me out with all sorts of issues, including personal ones,’’ he explains.
Parveen, who has considerable teaching experience, says Paula is a transformed young man who is ready to take on what life – and the army – can throw at him.
Equally determined is Vallerina Langiono, 19. The Greenlane resident, who wants to be an air force pilot, says the physical training has improved her fitness several notches and she now feels supremely confident about her future.
Because of a vision problem which was detected during her physical exam (and for which she underwent surgery) it is not yet certain she will become a pilot. However, there are other avenues she could pursue, and she’s also looking at taking up the National Certificate in Electrical Engineering at Future Skills.
Whether she becomes a pilot or engineer, one thing is certain – Vallerina’s will be a success story.
Similarly, Izak Clarke, who was expelled from school, is on his way to a career in the army.
Parveen says in the 12 weeks since he joined the course, the 16-year old Papatoetoe resident has gained 80 credits - double the average.
Izak attributes his academic growth to the fact that he loves the course and the superb environment and doesn’t feel intimidated by his tutors. The oldest of six siblings, he’s now a role model for his family.
‘‘Future Skills gives young people a second chance,’’ Parveen says.
‘‘We help them bridge the gap between where they were and where they are.’’
The 28-week course provides a core of English and maths, a range of group and interpersonal skills, besides physical fitness.
Future Skills offers a range of NZQA recognised courses from levels 1 to 3, including:
Health, Disability and Aged Support
Introduction to Engineering Electrical Engineering Bridging to the Armed Forces
Business Administration & Computing
Computing and Digital Media Employment Skills Places are available for any person aged 16 or 17 and adults (any age).
There are no course fees and a travel subsidy is available for students. Plus, no school qualifications are required.
Future Skills is currently enrolling for Semester 1 starting January 21, 2013.
Future force: Vallerina, Izak and Paula with tutor Parveen.