Inspiring Futures Foundation Supports Cyclone Gabrielle Affected Learners

In February 2023, Cyclone Gabrielle hit our shores. Regions across the North Island were devastated, with Hawke’s Bay especially affected.

In order for MITO to provide training for apprentices and trainees, we purchase off-job training from providers. Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Napier is one of these providers, helping train our apprentices through block courses, day release and evening classes.

During the cyclone, The Tūtaekurī River overflowed its banks, causing extensive damage to homes and infrastructure. EIT’s Taradale campus was badly damaged and was closed for many months.

With the help of the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) based in Palmerston North, MITO was able to purchase two block courses exclusively for our Hawke's Bay apprentices affected by the closure of the local campus, supporting 20 learners.

In addition, to reduce the burden of other costs, such as travel, accommodation and meals, the Inspiring Futures Foundation came to the rescue with funding to support our Hawke's Bay apprentices to attend these block courses.

This collaboration made a significant difference to those apprentices, as it meant they could keep progressing in their apprenticeships and they did not have to worry about any additional costs, it was all taken care of by the MITO team and the Inspiring Futures Foundation.

Sturrock Saunders, Inspiring Futures Foundation Convenor says, “When Verna Niao, MITO Executive Director, and Mark Gebbie, Group Manager - Workforce Development, explained the challenges that Cyclone Gabrielle had placed on learners, employers, and the learning environment, and promoted a block course solution, it was a simple decision for the Trustees to support this positive initiative.”

The feedback from the learners who attended was very positive, with many commending the structure of the course and the teaching.

MITO learner Tia attended the block course and says, “I found the course insightful, informative, and helpful. Lance was amazing at helping us get through our practicals and papers and was very attentive with each of the apprentices that attended the course. I would love to attend another course like that in the future.”

Fellow MITO learner Samuel adds, “I found the course to be really helpful and informative. The tutor made good sense of everything he was teaching us, making sure everyone understood. Overall, the course couldn’t have been any better.”

Another learner who attended, Matt, said, “Having the ability to attend this impromptu course after believing I had lost the opportunity with the effects of the cyclone was a godsend. The practicals that were covered are ones that require very specific jobs that don't commonly occur in my workshop. I have so much gratitude for MITO and UCOL for organising and hosting this course and allowing us to progress our training further in a difficult time.”

Thank you to the Inspiring Futures Foundation for this grant and helping our learners through this difficult time.