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Turning over new leaves at Queen Elizabeth Park

Recreational Services gardener Ben Daniels, left, with Wairarapa College Year 11 students Clayton Evans, Aldrey Bustante, and Dylan Blatchford. PHOTO/ELI HILL

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Mulching, raking and leaf-blowing Wairarapa College students have got a headstart on entering the workforce after gaining work experience with Recreational Services in Masterton.

Last week Year 11 students Clayton Evans, Aldrey Bustante, and Dylan Blatchford were in their fourth week of a 10-week Pathways Work Experience programme.

In a break between spreading mulch around the redwoods at Queen Elizabeth Park, Evans said they had learnt a lot about the job.

“They taught us all about the health and safety part of it. That’s a big part of the work.

“We’ve been leaf-blowing and raking up leaves. Lots of physical stuff. It’s a good way to get out of class, get some experience, and have a bit of fun.”

Recreational Services is contracted by Masterton District Council to care for the park, and operations manager Thomas Duxfield said the students were developing useful skills.

“They have to get themselves here and be on time themselves. It’s all those skills you need when you’re entering the workforce.”

Duxfield said the three students were quickly becoming part of the team.

“Queen Elizabeth Park is one of the focal points of Masterton and to have someone come and help us has been great. To be able to help them as well has been an eyeopener.

“They eat lunch in the smoko room with us and have really warmed to our guys. By the end of 10 weeks we won’t want them to leave.”

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