The automotive industry is a family affair for Rowan Cumiskey. He’s a Collision Repair Technician at Fleet Street Panelbeaters in Auckland, right next door to his father’s automotive workshop, where his older brother works too.

"I always knew I'd do something in the motor industry," said Rowan. "When I left Takapuna Grammar, Fleet Street’s owner Nathan Hale suggested I come and work for him for three months to see how I'd like it."

Rowan was offered an apprenticeship and has now qualified with MITO’s National Certificate in Motor Industry (Automotive Body) (Levels 3 and 4) Refinishing.

He’s had a string of workplace achievements, with a State Insurance scholarship which paid for his apprenticeship, the 2012 State Insurance Apprentice of the Year, and the 2013 CRA Apprentice of the Year Golden Gun. This year he placed silver, at both the WorldSkills National and Oceania competitions.

"I really like my job, so it hasn't been hard to give 100%. The real satisfaction comes from being part of a team that does a great repair job. The best reward is when I finish a job and I’m really proud of how it’s turned out,” said Rowan.

Rowan’s employer Nathan is very pleased with his progress. "Rowan punches above his weight and is one of the best apprentices we've ever had. He's confident, picks up stuff quickly and is a real asset to the business,” he said.

“I’m really glad I’ve done an apprenticeship, it’s given me a kick start in life and I’ve been earning while I’m learning,” said Rowan.

Working in a job he loves, Rowan is 21 years old, and he’s got it made!

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