Gabriel Livermore

Learning how to create something useful from virtually nothing is the most rewarding part of the Certificate in Engineering, says Westport man Gabriel Livermore.

“You can take a piece of steel from a factory and shape it and thread it – you’re basically making something from nothing using a machine and that’s pretty cool.”

Gabriel finished Buller High School in 2014 but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next. After unsuccessfully applying for apprenticeships, he went on to the Tai Poutini Polytechnic website to find out what he could learn.

“I liked the idea of engineering because it’s hands-on and equally practical and theory. I like the idea that you learn what’s behind the work and then put it in to practise.

“I really enjoyed the course itself. You are given a lot more freedom than school. It’s your responsibility to turn up and do your best, and if you do then you get a lot of support from the tutors.

“The best parts of the course were when we started to work on the machines. You start to make some cool tools and you can see what you have learnt.”

Gabriel is applying for apprenticeships now and hopes to start work in early 2016. He says there are plenty of options in the job market now for graduates. “Doing the course definitely helps you get a job but even if you don’t pursue it further, you get a lot of knowledge and it’s all practical stuff to know,” he says.