* Charlie at his full-time job following graduation from the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa forestry course in Rotorua.
Charlie Wallace has previously had some struggles, including minor brushes with the law, but has turned his life around after completing a forestry course through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Rotorua.
It was a meeting with course kaiako (teacher) Shand Edwardson outside the Rotorua courthouse that paved the way for him to make changes in his life.
Shand periodically makes himself available at the courthouse to answer questions from any rangatahi (young people) interested in upskilling and working in the forestry industry.
That meeting led to 18-year-old Charlie completing a Level 2 Certificate in Foresty Industry Training during Semester A this year.
A few days after chatting with Shand, Charlie was enrolled on the course and is now two months into his job at Mahi Rākau Forest Management.
“It’s been a good transition from the books, to going out and doing the practical work,” says Charlie.
Securing fulltime work has helped Charlie provide for his partner and new born baby.
He’s just been able to buy a new car for his family, saying this took a big weight off his shoulders as a new father.
“I don’t know where I would be now without this job. I’m loving it.”
The course caters for about 15 tauira (students) each semester, with the hope that many will go straight into full-time work. Twelve out of the 14 tauira from the Semester A course are already in full-time work.
Shand says there is still a high demand for those who are keen to work in the forestry industry.
“All they really want is people who are going to go to work five days a week and be drug free,” says Shand, who will run a 22-week Semester B course out of the Waiwhero campus in Rotorua. The deadline for applications is 2 August and the course starts that day as well.
Anyone interested in the forestry course in Rotorua can contact Te Wānanga o Aotearoa on 0800 355 553 or visit our website for more information.