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A Thames mental health apprentice who is a passionate advocate and community leader is up for an industry award.

Turaukawa Sam Bartlett is an Alcohol and Other Drug Youth Worker/Student Counsellor from Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, a rural Iwi-based health and wellness service looking after the Hauraki.

He’s now in the running for Apprentice of the Year at a Training Excellence Awards ceremony next month, hosted by Careerforce, the Industry Training Organisation for the health and wellbeing sectors.

Mr Bartlett is a shining light as a success story coming through the Careerforce workplace training system.

Turaukawa took home the 2016 Maori Future Leader award. Pictured here with MP Louise Upston,

He says the Careerforce journey has supported his personal transformation from someone with no formal qualifications to a proud leader making a difference in his community and a successful student. He hopes his journey will inspire others to engage in this journey as well.

“I believe that education is a pathway of guiding a person’s passion; particularly in the field of mental health and addictions where the people we serve depend on our abilities to enhance their wellbeing,” Mr Bartlett says.

He says the skills he has gained through his apprenticeship journey has supported his passion and involvement in other community activities these include:

  • Midland MH&A Māori Leadership Network – Providing a mandated voice for mental health & addiction Māori development at a regional and national level
  • Founding Member of Korowai Tupu – Professional Association of Youth Workers in Aotearoa. Developing education and youth worker programmes in Aotearoa.
  • Mana Tāne ora ki Waikato Men’s health advisory board – Actively raising awareness of the various health issues facing men in the Waikato area.
  • Coromandel Health Promotion and Strategy Development Group – Safer Coromandel. Developing strategies to minimise harm, accidents and death in the Coromandel area.

Mr Bartlett also recently led a community movement in developing a submission to raise awareness of the impact suicide has in his community; in particular rangatahi/young people.

He’s also working with the Problem Gambling Foundation to develop a community strategy to provide support for whānau affected by harmful gambling, as well as working with various public health services in opposing the application of an off-license permit to sell alcohol in close proximity to a school.

Apprentices, trainees and workplaces with commitment to training, professional development, and in making a difference in their communities are taking part in the 2017 Careerforce Training Excellence Awards to

Careerforce Chief Executive Ray Lind says these awards are the first of their kind for the health, wellbeing, social and community services, cleaning and pest management sectors.

The Awards categories include Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year, Māori Trainee of the Year and Pasifika Trainee of the Year. There’s also Workforce Development Employer of the Year award for the organisation, company or business that offers exceptional training to Careerforce trainees and apprentices.

Three finalists have been short-listed for each category and  trainees and workplaces from all over New Zealand have put forward their nominations.

Winners will be announced at the Careerforce Workforce Development Conference Dinner at Te Papa, Wellington on 7 August 2017.