I was met with a huge hug from one of our fantastic success stories, the lovely Ohu Unga, a former Trades Academy student at Waiheke High School who is now working at Casita Miro Vineyard.
Ohu had a challenging time at school, but went on to successfully complete the Primary ITO teacher-led Trades Academy Level 2 programme and gain employment at Casita Miro Vineyard on Waiheke Island.
Miro Vineyard is in the Onetangi wine-growing region and comprises a 4.2 hectare vineyard and a Tapas restaurant. Views from the vineyard are spectacular, looking out over the vines, the village and the sea.
Ohu has since achieved Level 3, and with the support of Training Adviser Kay Airey, is now progressing through the NZA – Fruit Production (changing over to Viticulture once this qual is accredited with NZQA shortly).
Vineyard owner Barnett Bond said he is very pleased with Ohu's progress and enthusiasm in the workplace.
The Level 2 course that Ohu successfully completed at school set him up well for full time employment in the industry. Barnett and his son George act as mentors for Ohu.
His teacher at school, Tanique Deacon, is a driving force for helping the students to secure employment after successful completion of the Trades Academy course.
The best part of my job is talking to these enthusiastic students and seeing them in action in the industry. I am very fortunate.