GOT A TRADE WEEK 2017|21 - 27 AUGUST 2017 View event calendar

By Deborah Grace Hady of Tearaway Magazine

When asked about the hardest part of his job, Julius Bloem has one answer: “I enjoy all of it!”

Certainly, Julius has come a long way from his high school days, when he lost his focus and didn’t really know what he wanted to do. He jokes that he probably “became a bit annoying to my teachers!”

When Julius was an automotive apprentice, he learned everything from vehicle servicing and repairs, to stripping down and rebuilding race cars. He even worked on the computers for cars, programming and calibrating the systems.

While he earned money, he learned real life problem solving skills that he could apply beyond the automotive industry, in other aspects of his life.

His natural leadership ability, passion and willingness to continually expand his skills have seen him go from being an apprentice, to a qualified automotive technician, and now a general manager. In fact, Julius has been named Apprentice of the Year and won a scholarship for First Line Management.

He has also travelled New Zealand and even Australia for motorsport events.

Right now, Julius’ day-to-day consists of management work, from project management to social media marketing. It is probably safe to say that his former teachers would be proud!

As a real advocate for trades, Julius laments that there is some social stigma surrounding them, where people in the trades are not appreciated nor acknowledged, but looked down upon. While schools invited representatives from different universities to hold talks, there was hardly anyone coming from trades to Julius’ school, to show students that apprenticeship is a viable pathway. Schools, says Julius, are much more focused on helping people to prepare for university, but there isn’t much support for someone wanting to do a trade.

However, Julius stresses: “You can get somewhere with trades!”

He is a model example of how an apprenticeship allows you to succeed even beyond getting the qualifications for trades. He shows that while university has its advantages, you do not necessarily have to go to university to get onto the path you want to take. Trades are certainly a viable path that “allow you to succeed.”

This is probably why Julius has been so comfortable with his role as a Got A Trade ambassador. He is passionate about what he does, and knows that trades make up an important career path that often gets overlooked.

His biggest advice to teenagers coming out of high school? “Common sense! Common sense is not very common in the real world nowadays.”

One might say that for a self-confessed car and motorsport lover like Julius, joining the automotive industry was common sense. He is excited about all the big technology that is coming through. The automotive industry is constantly advancing, improving and becoming more efficient. Even over the last ten to fifteen years, there have been massive changes to vehicles, cars and the way we drive.

As for self-driving cars, Julius reckons it will take a good 20 years until they become a common thing to see on our roads. Meanwhile, he’ll work on improving his current business into one that is highly profitable and customer-focused.

This article was written by a Maverick from TEARAWAY, The Voice of New Zealand Youth!

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