Ioka Autagavaia gets her Certificate in Employment Skills.
In 2011 Ioka registered with Literacy Auckland North. Her immediate
goal was to secure employment but her long term goal was to become
an early childhood teacher.
After joining the English for Work group class she quickly gained
confidence and started to develop her skills. Within a few months
she secured employment and it wasn't long before she was given more
responsibility at work. Her skills and ability had been recognised.
Since this time she has continued to attend to her literacy skills
and she has taken on other programmes of study including the Open
Polytechnic Get Ahead Start programme in 2013. This gave Ioka a
taste of success and on completion of this course she was keen to
enroll on the Certificate in Employment Skills which she studied
Despite a heavy workload (often being called up to work additional
shifts), managing the demands of a large family and suffering a
family tragedy late last year, Ioka is still wishing to continue
to build on her skills and work towards her ultimate goal of becoming
an early childhood teacher.
It was with a great sense of pride and joy that we celebrated Ioka's
determination to overcome adversity to gain this qualification which
brings her closer to her ultimate goal.
Determined to be a cop
HARD WORKER: Wenbo Gong, 26, pictured with his tutor Susanne
is inspiring others to improve their English and seek entry
to the police force.
Wenbo Gong refuses to give up on his dream to become a cop.
He's found time - in just three months and despite working a 60-hour
week as a builder - to improve his English skills to a level acceptable
for possible entry to the police force.
He felt frustrated after being turned down by recruiters in November
because of his poor literacy.
Now he is much closer to achieving his dream after asking for help
from Literacy Auckland North.
The non-profit organisation helps people improve their literacy
and work prospects, but Gong couldn't attend daytime courses because
of his job.
It was stroke of luck that his "angel" tutor, Susanne
Furst, offered to help him at times that suited.
Gong works from 7am to 7pm on an average day, so Furst teaches
him in the evenings and during weekends and holidays.
"Most nights he will show up at my house with something to
eat, still in his work clothes and ready to learn.
"I don't mind doing it because he is so committed," Furst
Gong's passion for police work began shortly after he moved to
New Zealand from China three years ago.
He was involved in a car accident and the police were the first
on the scene.
"They were so kind to me and so helpful. I will never forget
how good they were to me."
Gong is still working on his English skills but has progressed
through to the formal interview stage of recruitment and joined
the Asian Safety Patrol.
The patrol allows aspiring Asian recruits to work alongside frontline
police twice a week.
Gong's patrol colleagues wanted in on the action after hearing
about his success.
Literacy Auckland North manager Jane Rigby has designed a programme
to help them and others in similar positions.
"We are now working with the police to help over 40 individuals
who fulfil the fitness criteria but are hampered by poor literacy,"
"With Auckland now home to over 100 different nationalities
it is becoming important for the police to reflect the changing
demographics," she says.
"I feel safer already, just knowing that these guys will become
police officers someday," Furst says.
North Shore Times 10 June 2014
Marias success in getting her learner licence leads to job
My interest in learning to drive started only after our company
moved to Highbrook early this year. Since I couldn't drive and didn't
want to relocate, I decided to resign. Since then I looked for jobs
nearby, around the city and the North Shore area. I was asked if
I want to do a job at Onehunga for 3 months and it was a good job
with the potential of becoming permanent. It took me 2 hours to
get there and I had to walk 15 minutes. In the end, the company
decided not to give it to me as it would be hard for me to commute.
My movements were controlled. Whenever I was asked by recruitment
agencies I would say that I can work around city, inner city and
North Shore area. It was really hard. Then I realised that I missed
all the opportunities and decided to get my learner licence (no
matter what) and was thankful that Literacy Auckland North offered
an evening class.
After 3 months of looking for a job, I was able to get one. The
job needed somebody who could drive but I was honest with them about
my situation and the company gave the job to me allowing me time
to get my learner licence and eventually my restricted licence before
the year ends. The course that Literacy Auckland North offers is really
helpful especially for those without any background in driving.
Thank you very much for the wonderful opportunity and I am very
fortunate to benefit from the course. I have advised my friends
who are interested to learn that they can send an expression of
interest too. I do hope that they will also be given the chance
like what you have done for me. More power to Literacy Auckland North.
Mandalinna prepares for future study while looking after her daughter
Mandalinna, a young solo mum, approached Literacy Auckland North in
July 2010. She had recently moved to the North Shore with her daughter,
and a friend, knowing she was not able to read very well suggested
she contact Literacy Auckland North. She had over the years started
a number of courses but had not completed them due to her poor reading
Mandalinna loves children and she dreamt of working in the early
childhood field but not having support with childcare or transport
made life complicated! Mandalinna started working with a volunteer
tutor, Elaine Tassie and it wasn't long before she started making
With her improved confidence she decided earlier this year to use
this time before her daughter starts school to prepare for her future.
She registered with the Open Polytechnic and started the National
Certificate in Early Childhood.
Mandalinna has made excellent progress and has already successfully
completed 9 Unit Standards! She is also volunteering at a local
childcare facility a few times a week.
Well done Mandalinna, we are so proud of you! Keep up the good work
and you will soon reach your goal.