Dream Career Starts Here!
Smart Waikato’s CAL Isuzu Gateway Programme

Eric from Huntly College landed his dream job as a Heavy Diesel Mechanic Apprentice thanks to his school Gateway Programme, his tech teacher and CAL Isuzu.

Eric – Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto – heard about Smart Waikato’s CAL Isuzu Gateway Programme from his tech teacher Mr Howard after it was advertised on FutureForce® Job Board, he applied and the rest is history!

“I did work experience every Wednesday and the cool thing about it all was I was earning credits whilst working. I thank my school heaps for allowing me to get my foot in the door through Gateway. I’ve been very fortunate and have been gifted with my dream job!”

Eric is following in the footsteps of CAL Isuzu’s Hamilton branch manager Alex Boles, who also represented the business as a FutureForce® Young Team Member more than a decade ago.

Alex says the Gateway programme is a great way for young people to earn credits and to see if a career as a Heavy Diesel Mechanic is right for them. As well, CAL Isuzu offers those on the programme excellent career opportunities, if they have the right stuff. 

Let’s find out more from Eric…

Eric Wynyard

Heavy Diesel Mechanic Apprentice

Interested in applying for Smart Waikato’s CAL Isuzu Gateway Programme?

Click here to find out more

A Chat with Eric
about his role

Eric Wynyard
Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto

Former Huntly College Student

What got you interested in this career path?

I’ve always loved it since I was little. My father was a mechanic and just being able to see him fix cars, trucks, tractors made me want to do it. When I see people on the side of the road with broken down cars, I just want to be able to scoop in and help them.

What do you do in your role?

I service trucks, fix them and diagnose problems. Pretty much whatever the customer wants really.

How did you get this job?

I did the Gateway programme at school and my tech teacher Mr Howard told me about the Smart Waikato Gateway Programme at CAL Isuzu and encouraged me to apply. I did it every Wednesday. The cool thing about it all was I was earning credits whilst working. After a while, the company looked at my performance and how I was doing and they offered me a job.

What have you learnt on the job?

I’ve learnt a lot about gearboxes, clutches, swaybars, suspension, and brakes. There’s a lot to list down but since I’m just starting out as an apprentice I’m still in the learning stages.

Was there anything you wish you knew when you left school?

I started working pretty young. Some people tell their kids to not work young and to just be a kid which I understand. But I feel personally working from a young age builds your work ethic and your ability to go to work. When you finish Year 13 and go straight to a 9-to-5 job it can be really challenging for some people if they haven’t been in that kind of environment.

What do you love about your job?

Just seeing something broken and fixing it, getting it going again, it feels very satisfying. A couple weeks ago my Mum was needing me to service her car and me being able to do it felt really awesome.

Where would you like to go with your career?

I would like to learn as much as I can here and hopefully one day become a fully qualified mechanic. There’s a lot of opportunities out there and I can’t wait to see where this career will take me.

About Cal Isuzu

CAL Isuzu is a Hamilton-based industry leader in new and used trucks, modifying hundreds of heavy vehicles each year to meet customer demand.

With the latest models and access to the newest technology, the CAL Isuzu team is stoked when the alarm goes off in the morning because they love what they do.

They get a kick out of working with new technology, making modifications and performing maintenance to keep their customers on the road.

Find out more here

Tips & Advice

What sort of person do you need to be for this work?

You have to be resilient – there’s a lot of challenges and problem solving that you have to deal with when working in a job like this. You just have to persevere.

Any useful school subjects/qualifications?
  • English – There’s a lot of writing, being grammatically correct helps with that.

  • Mathematics – I’ve always been pretty strong in maths and it definitely helps.

What advice would you give to someone deciding on their career?

You have to find something that you’re able to do realistically. Don’t invest too much of your time on one career choice – careers often can change. If somehow you don’t manage to get that one specific job you were hoping for, it’s always good to have a back up plan and another career choice.

What advice do you have for keeping balance/managing stress?

I guess having good friends and setting some time out in the weekend to go catch up with them. I’m also learning how to balance work life and personal life. It can get quite overwhelming and you need to be able to manage it well.


“I’ve been very fortunate and gifted with my dream job. I thank my school heaps for allowing me to get my foot in the door. Some people don’t have the same opportunity to do what they want, but it’s a journey.”