A Balancing Act

Ritchie Tidd is not one to shy away from hard work.

As well as working as an Estimator for Haddock Spraypainters and Panelbeaters, and as both an actor and Production Manager for the Whakatane Theatre Society in his spare time, he is also studying towards a National Certificate in Business Skills (First Line Management) after being awarded a 2015 MITO Business Skills scholarship.

At only 36 years old, Ritchie has already worked in the industry for over two decades, beginning his career when he was just 15 years old. He saw a MITO scholarship as the chance to get off the tools and progress into a management role. “Being awarded a scholarship was the perfect opportunity for me to develop my skills,” he says. “The MITO training programme is definitely going to help me further my career and having that qualification will be a real positive going forward.”

I think getting qualified is important in today’s industry and is certainly looked on favourably among employers.

Ritchie enjoys his time on the shop floor. “I like the results you see when you’re working on the tools,” Ritchie says. “Turning something that’s broken and restoring it to its former glory is a great feeling. But ultimately I want to manage a team of my own one day which is why, when one of my colleagues came across an ad for the MITO scholarships in an edition of PanelTalk, I jumped at the opportunity to apply.”

Ritchie knows how challenging a busy schedule can be having to balance his work, theatre productions and home life with his training – but it doesn’t faze him. “I am so glad I’m doing it. I think getting qualified is important in today’s industry and is certainly looked on favourably among employers. The training programme has been very insightful and I’ve been able to implement what I’ve learned so far into various work situations. There’s a good balance of on the job and off-job training too but you do need to be prepared to dedicate yourself to the extra work involved.”

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