A chance meeting outside Kmart with Development Hub course leaders Sarah-Jo and Elisabeth, was a game-changing moment for Gemini, and set her on the path to her first job.
Tertiary studies hadn’t worked out for the talented, but shy, former Dux of her high school. She was trying to find a job in Hawke’s Bay under her own steam, without success.
An interview for a place on the Initiate Rangatahi course sealed the deal, and shortly after Gemini was excitedly taking her first steps towards having a job.
“Accepting help was hard,” says Gemini, “but having support and people around you who can help, is good.”
Naturally shy, Gemini says she struggles to stand up in front of people. “On the course you get thrown into it. The course leaders gave me the push I needed.”
With work-ready skills and newly confident, Gemini interviewed for a job at First Light Foods. It took a few months to land, but the wait was worth it, says Gemini.
“To be in the job I have is amazing. Prior to the course, I never thought I would get a role like this. I am growing my skills and opening up to different opportunities.”
The team at First Light has taken Gemini under their wing, she says. “Being Māori in a mostly Pakeha workplace, I felt vulnerable at the start. But they make me feel welcome.”
Gemini‘s Mum and Dad are proud of how far she’s come. “I’m more confident and mature, and really proud of having a good job at my age.”
To any young woman offered a place on a Development Hub course, Gemini says:
“Take it. Quickly!”
“To be in the job I have is amazing. Prior to the course, I never thought that I would get a role like this. I am growing my skills and opening up to new opportunities.”
Business case study
FIRST LIGHT FOODS
ON PARTNERSHIP WITH THE DEVELOPMENT HUB
A personal connection with The Development Hub (TDH) founder Sarah-Jo Barley, paved the way for First Light Foods to take on a TDH candidate to support its fast-growing business. Matt Crowther, First Light Foods General Manager Wagyu, says the opportunity to work with The Development Hub, appealed to the community-minded firm.
“We heard about Gemini’s school history, and her achievements. It resonated with us.”
“Everybody needs a ‘leg-up’ at some point in life, and we were grateful to be involved,” he says.
Gemini joined the logistics team, helping to complete the all-important paperwork to move First Light Foods product domestically and overseas.
Matt says: “We had worried that there was too much in the role, or that it might be too complicated for someone who hadn’t worked before.
“But Gemini has come up trumps; we recently made her role permanent.”
Lucy Hazell, Logistics Manager at First Light Foods and Gemini’s manager, says that although very shy when she first joined the company, Gemini is becoming more confident as her skills grow.
“Gemini is a dream employee. Her work ethic is phenomenal. She is working at quite a high level and her accuracy is second-to-none.
“She’s getting huge experience in the business, completing export documents, MPI paperwork and attaining NZ Customs certification. All of which will open Hawke’s Bay up to her.
“Gemini has been a great addition to the team.
“It’s been good for us to have a younger person around and to watch her progress. We’re future proofing our team by hiring young, local talent from The Development Hub.”
Matt Crowther says that First Light Foods is open to hiring more TDH candidates in the future.
He encourages more business to work with The Development Hub.
“The word needs to get out. More businesses need to know about The Development Hub.”