FEDS Tutor John Denton congratulates a graduate.Six men serving community-based sentences have graduated from the Fairview Educational Service (FEDS) automotive course in Hamilton.

Despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, participants persevered to obtain their NCEA Level 2 automotive qualification.

Speaking directly to the graduates, FEDS Tutor John Denton said, “It’s really satisfying to see you guys come through, go that step further and complete the programme.”

“Some of you have told me that learning hasn’t always been a priority, but you’ve made the extra effort and overcome some massive hurdles. You should all be incredibly proud of what you have achieved.”

Two of the six graduates are moving on to further study, the other participants are working closely with Education and Training Consultants to plan for future employment while they complete other activities as part of their sentences.

“I’d just like to thank John,” said one of the participants. “Without his encouragement and support I don’t think I would have made it.”

“This opportunity has given me some really valuable skills. It has given me a focus and direction.”

The training has been successfully running at Hamilton Community Corrections for over two years, where a large space and classroom is set aside for FEDS to deliver the course. FEDS has decked out the space with hoists, a tyre machine and a full range of tools.

The course is free to participants and runs five days a week for around six months.