Chelsie's chosen career in action

For Chelsie Cox, an automotive mechanical repairs course was where it all started. However, a desire to further her knowledge and extend her skill set to repairing vehicle exteriors, led her to enrol in a collision repair pre-trade course at Waiariki Polytechnic.

“I suddenly realised that my initial goal of becoming an automotive technician wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do anymore and I felt like I needed a change” says Chelsie. “So, I decided that a career in collision repair and refinishing was the right direction for me and felt the pre-trade course at Waiariki was an ideal place to start.”

Once she had completed the course, Chelsie knew she had made the right career decision. “I really enjoyed the course - especially the spray painting techniques I learned! I had a great teacher and everyone got along really well. Overall, it reinforced what I love about the industry - like the range of jobs available and how hands-on it is.”

MITO’s first hui for SkillME Māori and Pasifika Trades Training in Rotorua was designed to show graduates like Chelsie their chosen career in action. The hui took them to several collision repair workplaces and fueled Chelsie’s aspiration to work in the industry even further.

“The highlight of my day was seeing how car bumpers are straightened out after being damaged. That was something I’d never seen before and was really interesting to me!” However, what really inspired Chelsie to keep working towards her new career path, was seeing how refinishing techniques are applied to trucks. “I’d like to work with trucks one day so seeing them being refinished was a particularly inspirational part of the hui.”

With a promising career beckoning, Chelsie now intends on completing further on-the-job training and hopes to one day put her newly acquired collision repair and refinishing skills to the test in the trucking industry.