Damien Amopiu

Civil and Mining Graduate

Programme attended: Civil Plant Operation (Level 3)

The future is looking bright for Damien Amopiu.

The machine operator is currently contracting with one of Auckland’s leading civil infrastructure firms.

Before completing the Civil Plant Operations Certificate at Tai Poutini Polytechnic, Damien felt he was stuck in unfulfilling labouring jobs.

“I was sick of going nowhere, not being able to advance. I knew I needed to upskill or I was going to be stuck at the bottom.”

Damien’s disruptive childhood left his early education almost non-existent after he was taken away from his parents by social services.

“Having no role models growing up really affected me and my early years. It wasn’t until I moved back with my maternal Grandmother that I got the support I needed, but by then the damage had been done.”

Damien continued to struggle through school, eventually leaving at the age of 15.

“By the age of 18 I was working all sorts of different but I never really committed to them. As I got older, the lack of education really started to impact on me getting a high paying job or stability.”

“I always felt there was a job out there I’d be really good at. It feels good now, with help from Tai Poutini, that I’ve I found it.”

Damien says from the first day the tutors and staff was outstanding.

“The support was huge, I really started to click with what we were being taught, a lot of it was hands on learning too which was vital for entering the industry.”

“I loved it from day one getting a really good foundation in civil construction, being on the machines. I felt like I found a calling.”

“It set me up really well to go straight into an industry job and hit the ground running.”

The father of 5 is now relishing having stability and a good job.

“I’m feeling really good about the future for my family and me, a big thank you to Tai Poutini for helping get to where I am today.”