This is Austin Bly; he is a pretty incredible young man. I went to meet him with the intention of writing about how Capital Training was influential in changing his life and setting him up for the future. As I spoke with Austin though, I quickly realized that while Capital Training definitely played a part, the main driving force for his success was himself.
Austin was born and raised in Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast. He spent his early life going to school and enjoying the sunshine just like every other kid. Austin struggled with high school however and was asked to leave before the end of year eleven.
You see, Austin describes himself as having been short tempered and prone to extreme visible acts of anger. This wasn’t because he is a bad guy, I actually found him to be a very gentle and kind person, but because he got frustrated with his work and felt helpless and unable to verbalise his need for help. Austin was left without any qualifications and no real chance of getting back in to academics. It wasn’t a great situation for him.
This is when he decided to go to Capital Training and to get his temper under control. Those were choices that he made and they are choices that have really served him well. Austin joined Capital Training in 2017 and completed his Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications. He says that he really surprised himself at Capital Training with a 100% attendance rate. I asked him why he turned up 100% of the time and he said it was because of the friendly tutors, one on one help and the relaxed vibe that is cultivated at the Kapiti centre. He said that the main reason why he enjoyed Capital Training was that he was treated as an equal, not as a learner. Austin really enjoyed and thrived in an environment where he felt safe and equal, a place where he wasn’t left behind for any learning difficulties.
But this just explains why he enjoyed his time at Capital Training, not the success that he had there. That success, while facilitated and nurtured at Capital Training, was a product of Austin’s own motivation. It was during his time completing the Building and Construction qualification that Austin really came in to his own. He enjoyed using the tools and working with wood and as a result really threw himself in to the work. He distinguished himself as a bit of a star of the course early on. He credits Capital Training with teaching him the skills that he needed to get in to construction, but honestly I think that it was his own determination that got him to where he is today.
And just where is Austin today? He is an apprentice working with a local construction crew in the centre of Wellington. He says that the commute from Kapiti can be a bit of a pain at times, but he really enjoys the job. He is out there, making the most of life and has amazing career prospects in the industry. What I found really cool was the fact that his boss gave him as much time as he needed to do the interview so that I could write this story about him. I was quite surprised by this, so I naturally asked why this was the case as I was expecting him to only have 20 minutes or so while he was on break. Austin said that it was because he worked hard and efficiently over the last week or so in order to get ahead of his work so that his boss would give him a few hours for this interview.
I was really struck by that. He really showed a lot of respect for what I was doing and was so keen on his story being used as inspiration for others who might find themselves in the same situation that he was in, that he actively did everything possible in order to give me as much time as I needed to talk to him.
The story of Austin is only going to get more impressive as he moves forward in the future. He plans on completing his apprenticeship in the next few years and then going to law school up in Auckland to follow his dream. This is an ambitious plan, but after meeting him, I have no doubt that he will go to law school, pass and become a lawyer.