Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti
8 mins ago
To say that Matt Roberts’ life was a tumultuous rollercoaster ride would be an understatement. The recent EIT graduate left school at 14, leading to troubled and rebellious teenage years. He later worked as a labourer in dairy farming, as a concreter, in a vineyard and a cheese factory. He never found the time to get a formal qualification. After all he had to earn enough money to sustain his six children.
But the 37-year-old had a big dream and he realised it at last. “I always wanted to be a truck driver,” he says. “Since a was a little boy, I liked big machinery, trucks, cars, and motorbikes. I’m a gypsy at heart and like to be on the road. Earning a decent paycheck was certainly a drawcard too.”
However, Matt was never in the financial position to leave his job and go back to school. But then November 2020 came and everything fell into place. Not only was the EIT Certificate in Commercial Road Transport made free as part of the government’s Covid-19 recovery, but Matt’s partner also offered her full financial support.
“I had never paid attention at school but as an adult often wished I had. This time I was dedicated to giving it all.” Matt only missed one day of class, and it was no surprise that his tutor Bruce gave him a glowing reference.
“It’s hundred percent what I want to do. As a kid I played with Tonka trucks, and now the Tonka trucks just got a little bit bigger,” he quips.
As part of the course, Matt did work experience with Everfresh. A few days after finishing his qualification the transport company offered him a job.
Matt plans to do the class 5 licence which will allow him to drive trucks and trailers.
“The highlight of the course was to receive my certificate. That piece of paper opens up my future. I’m stoked that everything paid off and that I finally made it.”
“I can’t wait to grab one of my kids and take them for a drive in the truck around the country. That will be a dream come true.”