Skillme's Ashlee Ashmore Finishes Top In Carpentry

26 Apr 2016

The SkillME Māori and Pasifika Trade Training initiative at Waiariki aims to create accessible high-quality trades skills for Māori and Pasifika students aged 16-40, backed by a high level of pastoral support.

One recipient of a 2015 SkillME scholarship, Ashlee Ashmore, finished her Level 3 Certificate in Carpentry (Pre-employment) at the top of her class.

“Getting a SkillME scholarship was pretty good, knowing that I didn’t have to think about my fees that much. My parents were excited too.”

Ashlee says the secret to her success is a love of carpentry borne from growing up helping her father build. She is now eyeing up the possibility og travelling to Christchurch to help with the city’s post-earthquake reconstruction.

“My dad is stoked with what I have achieved. To anyone else, I say just come in and have a go. SkillME is great fun and a good learning experience.”

Working in partnership with Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue Iho Ake Trust, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust, Waiariki offers the fees-free, year-long certificates through SkillME in six career areas in addition to carpentry: farming, electrical, welding and fabrication, engineering (fitting and turning), automotive workshop and repair, and collision repair.

SkillME kaiārahi Ray Poupouasa says he’s proud that his role as a caretaker helps students advance themselves into new careers, and the programme’s success comes from keeping the students’ support network close and engaged.

“I am an ex-Māori trade training carpentry student, so personally, I’ve been there. The rewarding part is that the students qualify themselves and that their whole family gets on board through our focus on whanaungatanga. Not just mum, dad and koro, but their extended whānau and friends.”

Fellow kaiārahi Lorraine Hall is proud of SkillME’s 24-hour complete student care package.

From helping with transport and accommodation if needed, to arranging monthly BBQs with motivational speakers who have been there, done that and succeeded, she says SkillME gives Māori and Pacific Island students opportunities to progress and get through any hurdles that would otherwise stand in their way.

“It ticks the box for me that we are getting programmes up and running that will allow students them to give back to their own communities in their own way,” she says. “We are actually building our people to be self-sufficient and independent.”

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Page last updated: 02 May 2017