Comment: Grabbing the right opportunity

By: Fiona McDonagh, Te ara ki tua Road to success Project Co-ordinator

For Betty Heremaia Sola, truck driving wasn’t something she had considered until she found out about the Te ara ki tua Road to success programme

Te ara ki tua Road to success trainee Betty Heremaia Sola with her employers at Carr & Haslam, Chris Carr and Alex Thompson

I was in Auckland recently with the first Te ara ki tua Road to success trainee from the Kiwi Can Do jobseeker programme, Betty Heremaia Sola. Betty started with Carr & Haslam in Mt Wellington in February and is loving it.

The team at Carr & Haslam is impressed with her attitude and approach to the business of car transportation and has already allocated her a Class 2 truck, which she will be driving with the company’s driver trainer; it won’t be long, and she will be doing it all herself.

We have six trainees who’ve already signed up to the programme and are currently working with employers in Class 2 roles and who have begun completing their
micro-credential qualifications online.

Betty is 21 and lives in Auckland. She heard about the programme when I presented at a career open day for Kiwi Can Do. "After hearing what Fiona had to say about the Te ara ki tua Road to success, I thought it was an amazing opportunity for inexperienced Class 2 licence holders to begin their journey as a truck driver," says Betty.

Her summer holiday paid internship with Auckland Council finished in early 2020. Betty says truck driving wasn’t something she had really considered before. "My family is very proud of my achievement. When I first spoke to them about it, there was an overflow of support and praise for taking this step. We’re all grateful for the opportunity and the future pathways it could lead me on."

Betty had a full Class 2 licence when she began Te ara ki tua Road to success and quickly secured a role with Carr & Haslam. "For the past few weeks, I’ve been in store training. In this position, we receive the cars from our truck drivers and relocate them in specific areas throughout our yard. The end result after a period of time is the car being transported to a location in New Zealand by our truck drivers."

This means Betty gets to drive a range of new exotic cars around the yard, including Porsches, Teslas, and Mercedes. Betty has begun her online training and says she’s enjoying the ongoing support she’s receiving from the programme.

"There are regular check-ins both in person and via phone and e-mails. They have reminded me many times that they are always there if needed. If I have any concerns about my place of work or am struggling with the micro-credentials, then at any time I can contact them. I appreciate the support they offer; it is very motivational for me."

At this early stage in her career, Betty isn’t sure where her training will take her. "I am not entirely sure yet, as this is so far the only area of the transport industry I’ve worked in. However, I will see where the next 12 months lead me and what achievements I have made through the programme."

When I asked Betty what advice she would give others considering signing up for the programme, she said: "My advice would be to do it. There are so many opportunities in life, and if you have the chance to jump at them, then I say jump!

"I’ve noticed truck driving is a male-dominated industry, but if I, a 21-year-old woman, who’s currently training to become a truck driver, can do it, then so can others. Don’t let age, gender, and experience intimidate you; we all need to start somewhere.

"We don’t get to the top without beginning at the bottom, and that’s a lesson within itself. Through courage and confidence, we can all make it." I would like to thank Betty for sharing her thoughts with us, and I wish her and all the other trainees well on the programme. I hope to share some more of their stories over the coming months.

If you need any information on Te ara ki tua Road to success or wish to sign up as a prospective employer, please contact our project administrator Caleb Rapson Nuñez del Prado on 04 471 8283, or e-mail

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