He may not have found the support he needed at high school, but after enrolling at OCA, Penisimani Sili (Peni) has become unstoppable. Happier and more motivated, the aspiring tradie now has some life-changing qualifications and a future fill of promise.

“High school was ok, but it wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t benefitting me at all,” says Peni, who has completed his Level 2 Foundation Skills in Carpentry and is now working towards his Construction Trade Skills Level 3 certificate.

“At school they focussed on the smart people and more support was given to them. The others were left behind and did not get the same opportunities.”

Studying at OCA couldn’t be more different. Peni has felt welcomed and supported. He is no longer shy or scared to share information and he says learning is fun, relevant and easy to understand.

“You aren’t judged at OCA, you can be open and comfortable. The support around learning has been very helpful and it has helped take away the struggles from home. Even when it is big or small support, it keeps me going.”

While Peni has previously dipped his toes into other industries, nothing has held his attention for long. Nothing, until OCA! Learning to be a builder in a real world environment is something Peni is passionate about. Not only is he confident he won’t get sick of it, but he is excited about learning more and forging a career in this fast-growing sector.

“OCA helps you look ahead towards the future. You get the feeling you won’t fail, it is very good, it’s a comforting feeling,”

And Peni isn’t the only one who has noticed the benefits – his parents and other family members can also see he is more goal oriented, more settled, and enthusiastic about sharing his aspirations.

So, what are those aspirations? To secure an apprenticeship, keep building his carpentry skills, and build a brighter future for himself and his parents.

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