As an automotive mechanic, Trent gets to work in a field that he has a real passion for.

“My dad used to race quite a bit and so I was always around motorsport and racing cars and that sort of thing so it’s awesome to have a job that I have a genuine interest in.”

In college, Trent took a variety of subjects that he felt would help him out the most with his potential career, including maths, electronics, automotive, trade skills and graphics. Automotive was obviously a big help in terms of learning the basics and also kickstarted Trent’s career as a mechanic.

“It was through my automotive teacher that I got into the job really. He reckoned I was one of the better ones in the class and decided I should take up this Gateway programme, which is work experience. So I got in touch with the Gateway coordinator and she managed to get me a placing at the Car Care Centre. I came here every Tuesday for about two terms and then during the holidays I kept coming back, so Jim (my boss) eventually offered me a job and I’ve been here ever since.”

On leaving school, Trent was awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the New Zealand Motor Industry Training Organisation (MITO), which would go towards his fees while studying during his apprenticeship. Although he’s only been on the scene for a few months, Trent already feels like he’s learnt so much in that time through the experience at the Car Care Centre and says being paid to learn is a big bonus as well.

With three to four years to go in his apprenticeship, Trent is still unsure about what the future may hold for him. While starting up his own shop may be on the cards in the long run, he’s content for the moment to just expand his knowledge as he goes.

“Being willing to learn is a really good trait to have, especially when going into things like apprenticeships, because that’s all it is really – just learning to master the craft. It also helps to be good with people as you’re dealing with people all the time like customers. With cars sometimes you won’t be able to solve the problem immediately so it’s important to be calm and patient and just not get frustrated too quickly.”

Trent strongly recommends getting into the swing of things as early as you can.

“I think going through a Gateway programme is really good as you can still go to school and stuff but at the same time you get early experience and get to learn the basics and a lot of the time there’s a job at the end of it.

“Just asking around at the local garages is a good start and if you really have an interest in cars and things like that, then it’s all just about being proactive.”

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