Blake Marshall has been tinkering around with engines since he was a kid in his stepfather’s workshop and now, thanks to EIT, he is on the road to achieving his dream of working with heavy vehicles.
Nineteen-year-old Blake, who was born and bred in Tairāwhiti, loves working with engines – not necessarily car engines, but rather big grunty truck engines.
“I enjoy working with trucks because everything’s big and I just find it better than working on a car. Everything’s big and heavy. They’re robust.”
Blake began the pursuit of his dream at school through the Trades Academy at EIT. He left Campion College in year 12 to start at TPW Workshop where his employer enrolled him into a Managed Apprenticeship with EIT Tairāwhiti to do the NZ Certificate in Automotive Engineering [Level 3], which he completed this June. Blake is currently working on the NZ Certificate in Heavy Automotive Engineering – Road Transport Strand [Level 4].
Blake is now an apprentice at Pacific Haulage Ltd in Gisborne and attends classes at EIT’s Tairāwhiti Campus every Monday evening.
He says he developed his love of “anything with moving parts” from his stepfather Hamish, who is a diesel mechanic who owns his own business.
“It was great. Growing up, I would go and help him out on the weekends. I would go to his workshop and do a little bit of work on trucks there.”
Studying the NZ Certificate in Heavy Automotive Engineering – Road Transport Strand [Level 4]means that Blake is looking at about three years before he is qualified, but it will be worth it.
Blake has no doubt that the EIT programmes have set him on track for a good career.
“All the tutors are helpful and knowledgeable. Even though the programme was only set up two years ago, they know how to run it properly.”
“I would definitely recommend the programme and I am just taking it all in. There’s a lot to learn when you first start out, so it is a case of just absorbing all the information.”
As for the future, Blake is keen to continue his career at Pacific Haulage and then maybe move over to his stepfather’s business down the line.
Matt Clark, Automotive Tutor at EIT Tairāwhiti, says: “Blake is one of my star apprentices. He has virtually never missed class and loves coming to our EIT workshop during the year for Off The Job Training when we run our Block Courses.”
“Even though Blake’s work has one of the newest workshops in Gisborne, we still have a lot more resources than they do for training our apprentices. We can cover off anything he doesn’t get to do at work, from pulling apart a petrol engine, to working on electric and hybrid cars. I look forward to being part of Blakes journey and helping him grow his skills as a Heavy Diesel Technician.”