Tran­si­tion to work com­plete

The Northland Age - - Local News -

The fu­ture is look­ing good for 17-year-old Mark Lange, and he knows who he has to thank for that. At the top of the list is Taipa Area School.

His build­ing ap­pren­tice wasn’t sim­ply given to him, he said; he had a help­ing hand.

“I was un­cer­tain of what I wanted my fu­ture to look like,” he added. “All I knew was that by pass­ing NCEA ev­ery­thing should be okay.

“My cousin, who I ad­mire, is a builder, giv­ing me the idea of want­ing to be­come one as well. Un­for­tu­nately there was no tech­nol­ogy teacher at Taipa Area School un­til the end of the year, and I thought there was no hope for me.”

Things be­gan look­ing up when he was in­tro­duced to the ca­reers ad­viser, part of the school’s new Ca­reers Tran­si­tion Team, who guided him on to the Gate­way pro­gramme.

“I was shown a pro­gramme called BCITO (the largest provider of construction trade ap­pren­tice­ships in New Zealand), and started a build­ing pro­gramme at NCEA Level 3.

“It was the start of my jour­ney, not only to get­ting Level 3 cred­its but get­ting a taste of what work life is all about. Luck­ily for me, Glen Brad­bury, the owner of Coastal Homes (Cooper’s Beach), wel­comed me to his team as a work ex­pe­ri­ence worker.”

Get­ting to where he was now had not been easy. He had needed fo­cused mind­set, de­ter­mi­na­tion, willpower and com­mit­ment, but some “amaz­ing” teach­ers — Braden Carruthers (phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion), Aileen Lowe (English) and many more — had kept him go­ing.

“Once the pro­gramme was over and the year was done, all my hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion fi­nally paid off,” Mark said.

“Glen Brad­bury of­fered me an ap­pren­tice­ship, and from that day I knew my life was go­ing to change. I couldn’t be more happy with the out­come. I en­joy my job, I am learn­ing and grow­ing in this big world.”


For­mer Taipa Area School stu­dent Mark Lange in his (very) happy place.

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