Supported Employment Coordinator Gareth Griffiths was blown away by Laurence’s qualifications in Engineering Level 6, and his high level of applied mathematical knowledge.

“I’m interested in fluid dynamics and the flow rates of liquids. I particularly enjoy the logic of being able to make a clear conclusion through a process,” says Laurence.

Gareth explained, “These concepts quickly started to go way above my head so I contacted one of his tutors from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology to get a handle on where I should look for employment opportunities for him.”

Laurence wanted to explore his interest in Computer Aided Design (CAD), used to design buildings.

“Construction is a new area of interest to me and so completing any large building is an impressive achievement,” he says.

Gareth realised how far Laurence had come in a short time and how impressive and unique his skills were. He sent off enquiry emails to many engineering firms and Sandi Broersma, Transition Coordinator mentioned ZOG Steel Framing, a company in Mount Maunganui that designs and constructs framing for domestic housing around New Zealand and was known to be forward thinking, with young and energetic employees. 

Craig Wearne, a partner at ZOG, wanted to meet Laurence in person.

It was decided that Laurence would shadow another young employee, with shared interests and aptitudes, to learn the key design programs used for house construction. Laurence began a short term work trial that if successful, would lead to full time employment.

Two weeks later Laurence was working full time in his ideal job.

“I detail the framing when the design comes from the architect or draftsman and then I send it on to the engineer. I am using the latest Vertex BD CAD programme,” says Laurence.

In order to address initial concerns around adjusting to a full time work routine and potential fatigue in a high pressure environment, ZOG gave Laurence flexible working hours and the opportunity to be with like-minded proficient people who understand and respect his skills.

“When I caught up with Laurence recently he seemed to have grown another foot in height! He was confident and relaxed and happy to talk about what he was doing at work. He now has a career with a forward thinking firm, one in which he can progress. And most importantly he has an income stream that allows him to buy the things he wants and go to the places in the world he wants to go to,” says Gareth.

 

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