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EIT apprentice says he was breaking cars, so he decided to learn how to fix them

August 31, 2022

Josh Maka is enjoying his automotive engineering apprenticeship through EIT and at Advanced Automotive in Gisborne.

When Josh Maka began driving a couple of years ago, he seemed to always “break” his cars, so he decided to learn how to fix them.

Growing up in Gisborne, nineteen-year-old Josh set out to see what programmes were available. It made sense to check out what the local EIT Tairāwhiti Campus had to offer.

It was a move that paid off as he was able to secure a scholarship for his studies as well.

Josh has come a long way since he left his native Tonga as a boy with his parents to start a new life in New Zealand. After a brief stint in Auckland, the family relocated to Tairāwhiti to be closer to family and because “big city life” did not agree with them.

He has spent the last 14 years in Gisborne and attended Gisborne Boys’ High until Year 13.

After his tendency to break vehicles, Josh decided to take matters in his own hands and went to the Tairāwhiti Campus to find out about career choices.

“I went and asked about what mechanicals they have at EIT, and they gave me options. They also  handed me a pamphlet for the Te Toka scholarship, which I was fortunate enough to get.”

“The most challenging thing about the programme was handing in my CV.”

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training is a government  initiative supporting Māori and Pasifika people into trades training programmes. Te Toka is the name of the scholarship offered in the Tairāwhiti region.

Te Toka covers programme fees and supports students through their study, providing pastoral care and helping students transition into the workplace.

Josh enrolled in the NZ Certificate in Automotive Engineering [Level 3] at EIT mid last year and is now undertaking the NZ Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering [Level 4]. He also currently has an apprenticeship at Advanced Automotive in Gisborne.

“I am loving it.”

As for the future, Josh is keen to get experience in the trade, but has not ruled out returning in some capacity to EIT to complete the NZ Certificate in Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering [Level 5].

“I think it is something you have to do. It is the way things are going so I think it would be good to go electric.”

EIT Automotive Tutor Matt Clark says: “It was great to get to know Josh when he was with us doing his full time level 3 automotive programme here on campus at EIT.”

“I was really happy to find out Josh got a job with a great workshop like Advanced Automotive when he qualified from L3, and they were more than happy to sign him up to EIT’s level 4 managed apprenticeship programme. Josh is loving his job and I can see that when I visit him at work. He really enjoys the physical side to learning on the job. He is progressing well with his assignments, and I look forward to helping him learn his trade and become a great mechanic.”