Shifting Gears with ShiftUp
Jake Terrell has always wanted to be in the transportation industry, it is in his blood. Now thanks to hard work, taking the initiative and completing MITO’s ShiftUp® micro-credential while at school, he is more than on his way there. Jake is now completing MITO’s New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering – Heavy Vehicle and has his class 4 license.
Jake started working at Steve Murphy Limited when he was 15 years old washing trucks, but his dream has always been to become a truck driver. As to where his passion for trucks came from, he can thank his father and grandfather for that. “I have grown up around trucks my whole life. My dad and grandfather were both truck drivers and so that made me want to get into the trade as well.”
With help from his employer he found out about MITO’s ShiftUp® Road Transport Micro-credential. “I was working part-time at Steve Murphy Limited, while still at school. My manager told me about the micro-credential, so I spoke to my school, and I was able to enrol. I always wanted to get work experience and was waiting till I was old enough to be able to do it.”
The ShiftUp® micro-credential offers secondary school students the chance to earn a micro-credential in the road transport industry, completing both theory and practical workplace learning while gaining NCEA Level 2 credits.
Chris Murphy the Supervising Managing Director at Steve Murphy Limited takes all new students and potential employees on the ShiftUp® journey because of the on-job training and essential learning they receive from the programme. “ShiftUp® is super beneficial to students, it is a great way for students to navigate through these processes and give them the first look and understanding into the industry. It is a great first step and something we get all new students to complete.”
“They spend a day a fortnight out in the trucks with the rest of the time spent in the workshop and one day a week they do their theory work for the ShiftUp® programme.” Chris and his team are now onto their fifth ShiftUp® student.
Steve Murphy Limited also likes to keep their employees well versed in the different aspects of the road transport industry. Chris says they prefer their student employees to complete Shiftup® while at school, then move onto one of MITO’s specialist micro-credentials and then onto the New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport Skills. “Most of our employees’ goals are to get their Level 4 within the road transport industry and also their class 5 license. It generally takes us around two years to enable that to happen with licensing timeframes.”
Chris says the reason for this step-by-step process and why it is essential to complete the qualifications in this order is to give their employees the understanding of the machines they are driving. “While at school ShiftUp® provides the basic knowledge about what the road transport industry entails. The specialist micro-credentials and the New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport Skills helps them to understand the mechanical side. Part of the skill set of a professional driver is to understand the mechanical part of the vehicle. They go through the weight dimensions, other dimensions, fault finding and looking at things through their daily inspections. It gives them a real hands-on view of what’s expected.”
The hands-on element was one of Jake’s favourite parts of the ShiftUp® programme. “I enjoyed the practical side of the programme the most, going into the workshop and having that hands-on learning.”
The ShiftUp® micro-credential is definitely something Jake recommends. “This programme definitely gave me a head start in the industry. Start with ShiftUp® while at school to see if the industry is for you, and then you have some skills behind you to move onto the next thing, it gives you an extra foot into the door.”
The road transport industry employs over 50,000 New Zealanders and offers several career opportunities – including driving, servicing trucks, transporting goods, warehousing distribution, logistics and administration services. The ShiftUp® Road Transport Micro-credential is a great way for secondary students to try the industry, step into employment and continue their learning journey.