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Right on Time!

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Virginia began her career as a horologist in Central Hawke’s Bay by chance, a move that now sees her thriving in a niche role in Tīrau, Waikato.   

Upon leaving Central Hawke’s Bay College, Virginia (Ginny) gained a scholarship to become a dental technician at Otago University. Unfortunately, Ginny’s accommodation plans in the South Island fell through and she was forced to return to Central Hawke’s Bay.  

Ginny connected with Ange, the Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay Youth Transitions Coordinator, when Ange was following up with students who had left the college the previous year. This aspect of Ange’s role prevents local school leavers from falling through the cracks should their plans for after college change. 

During discussions with Ginny, Ange discovered Ginny’s interest in microengineering and the reason she chose to pursue a career as a dental technician. Exploring other career options involving microengineering, the team took her to visit the local Waipawa Clock Shop. Intrigued by the experience, Ginny began gaining work experience with Anne and Jim Greeff, who own the local clock and watch repair business. After completing a work placement and spending a year under Jim’s tutorship, Ginny was afforded the opportunity to relocate to Tīrau and train under Robert Russell at The Clock Shoppe 

“I was nervous in the time leading up to moving, but once I was here I was totally fine.” Ginny easily transitioned to the Tirau business and has broadened her knowledge in her time working under Robert alongside his son, who is also training to become a horologist.  

A year after Ginny moved to Tirau, the team reconnected with her, she is progressing quickly with her training. She has had the opportunity to work with a broader range of timepieces and expand her skillset. Ginny intends to continue building on her knowledge in this hands-on role. “You need a lot of patience for this job, I don’t have much patience for fancy cooking and things because all my patience goes into the clocks.”Life away from her hometown has also proved enjoyable for Ginny. She is likes being close to major cities, is making friends locally, and enjoys roller hockey and badminton in her spare time. 

Robert said he was impressed with the employment initiative run out of Central Hawke’s Bay. He felt it was great to have local school leavers linked to businesses in this way, providing opportunities for both parties. 

12 April 2024

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