En­rol now for se­mes­ter one start­ing on Jan­uary 21

Central Leader - - EDUCATION& TRAINING -

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

Fab­ri­ca­tion En­gi­neer­ing

Car­pen­try struc­tion

Ra­dio Skills

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.

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