PESS helps people reach their true potential

posted: 12:00 pm - 12th April 2018
Issac Ilaiu

Born and bred in the heart of Otara, Issac Ilaiu (pictured) has always envisioned working in the construction industry or in warehousing.

Knowing this from an early age, after leaving high school, he enrolled in Level 3 and 4 Introduction to Carpentry at Manukau Institute of Technology.

Issac thrived in his course with the goal of finding a job in the industry clearly in his sights.

However, after completing his studies Isaac struggled to get into the workforce.

Finding his dream job was not as easy as he had initially thought.

Fortunately, Issac was linked to Solomon Group’s Employment Navigator Ana Cullen, who informed the motivated young man of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ funded Pacific Employment Support Services (PESS) programme.

This programme aims to help young Pacific people in Auckland and Hamilton find sustainable employment, education or training opportunities by working with agencies including Solomon Group.

InWork, SENZ, Skills Update, Training Institute along with Solomon Group motivate, train and match young people to jobs or education that best fit them.

When Ana first met Issac, she says he was very shy and would always second guess himself.

“I had to work a lot with Issac to help him gain confidence and make him believe he could do anything he set his mind on,” Ana says.

”He is a very smart young man but he just needed some guidance.”  

While Issac participated in the PESS programme, he gained the essential confidence he needed to apply for jobs and approach employers, Ana continues.

During week three of his time involved in PESS, Issac was offered three job trials by three different companies within the construction industry.

Issac trialled with all the companies and enjoyed every role however, in the end he decided to return to what he was doing previously – working as a forklift driver in a warehouse.

Although this presented a huge curveball for Ana, it did not stop her from helping Issac. 

Solomon Group sent Issac on a two-day course, where he gained his forklift license. 

Just days after his course, Issac was offered a full-time position with a Wiri-based warehousing company, as a forklift driver.

One year has already passed, and Issac is thoroughly enjoying his role, which also makes his family proud – something very important to Issac.

Meanwhile, Issac is truly appreciative to Ana and the effort she went to, to help him become more skilled and reach his potential.

“I thank Ana for all her help – she has done so much for me and has always been encouraging,” Issac says.

“Sometimes I thought she would leave me because of all the trouble she went to, but she stuck by me all the way.

“Without her help I would still be looking for a job – I am forever grateful.” 

 Visit MPP for more information on PESS.