Elaine Pereira wasn’t necessarily a car enthusiast. She wasn’t actively looking for a new career path either. But one small moment changed everything.

“I was having trouble with one of my cars at home and I remember thinking I wish could do something about it,” says Elaine. “That’s when it struck me. I could do something about it - I could learn how to fix it myself! That lightbulb moment was all it took for me to want to learn more about the automotive industry. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with it. Now, I’m completing a light vehicle apprenticeship through MITO and couldn’t be loving it more.”

Elaine, who is of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa descent, went on to become the top Māori and Pasifika Trades Training graduate for 2017 and received a MITO scholarship that covers the first year fees of her New Zealand Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering (Level 3 and 4). “I did my best to have a positive outlook and stay motivated throughout the year,” says Elaine, “which came easily as I was so happy to be there!”

The good news didn’t end there though. That same week, Elaine landed her dream job at Trucks & Trailers, Auckland, through the Got a Trade? Got it Made! SpeedMeet event. SpeedMeet brings employers, jobseekers and secondary school students together speed-dating style, via short six minute one-on-one interviews. These interviews give both parties the chance to find out about each other, learn more about an industry or a job, and potentially even secure a job offer!

“I went along to SpeedMeet with an open mind and instantly hit it off with Kelly and Patricia from Trucks and Trailers. They told me more about the job available and what they were looking for in an apprentice and I knew I just had to have that role!”

“SpeedMeet is great for school students who don’t really know what they want to do, what’s available or what industry appeals to them,” says Elaine. “It opens your eyes to the large number of opportunities available for a career in the trades and services. If it wasn’t for SpeedMeet, I wouldn’t have this job!”

While Elaine is focused on completing her apprenticeship and becoming qualified, she also wants to inspire others by sharing her own experiences with her career to date. “I love my job and I think it’s a calling of mine to share my passion with those who are interested in joining the industry.”


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