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Budding chef has Anne to thank
Adam Holdin’s first contact with Taranaki Youth Service’s Anne Russell sticks in his mind. She visited his home - within 20 minutes a plan for the next few years of his life was drawn up.
It was welcome guidance and information for a young man struggling to find his niche in the world of education and training.
Now he’s studying to be a chef at WITT (Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki) having first completed a 35-week course through private training provider Trade & Commerce, which is based in central New Plymouth.
“I think Anne really shines at her job. She asked lots of questions, like was I interested in food.” The fact she wasn’t a parent or teacher helped him consider options in a different light, and her support was constant and ongoing.
Staff at Taranaki Youth Service support young people to make better choices through a range of initiatives such as budgeting, parenting, employment and life skills programmes.
They also help the young person to understand what they need to succeed at school or work based training, link them with other education or training providers and put together individual action plans.
Adam hadn’t considered hospitality before Anne’s suggestion, but looking back says he appreciated the chance to study with a provider where one-on-one tutorial support was possible and students shared similar learning styles and interests. “It’s more concentrated learning, more specialised work. You don’t learn anything you’re not going to use.”
He graduated midway through 2015 with NCEA level 1 and 2 as well as national certificates in hospitality, employment and food safety. His interest in learning has been sparked and he has a message for others in the same boat: “People don’t have an accurate portrayal of Youth Service and of what it can offer. It’s not just for those kids who have been kicked out of school.”
For her part Anne says she’s heartened by Adam’s progress. “He’s much more motivated than when I first met him. Now he’s on a valid pathway with career prospects in a broad industry.”