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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Two Cowboys on a Journey: Etco*, Auckland - New Zealand


(Learn: * Inspire: *** Amaze: * Live: **)
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When do you become a maker?

Many producers will tell you that they've always been making things and continues to do so regardless of their achievements in business or career. It may be the way they were brought up, the access to tools and materials, or just the inspiration they had from their parents or grandparents.

Some people become makers out of necessity. They couldn't afford a new bicycle and had to make do with an old one that needed fixing. As we've seen in some of our previously profiled Producers, some had to earn a living under difficult circumstances, to provide for their family.

There comes a time in the life of every maker, fixer or creators when their interest has the potential to go beyond a personal value, and become their career or their business. Many are natural entrepreneurs. Even more, makers seek out opportunities to work with others in a trade. Trade schools are available that will educate anyone with the commitment and interest to succeed. There are not many of these organizations thought, that will go beyond teaching the qualification of the trade and skill. Very few are also prepared to invest in the person that becomes the tradesman or woman of the future.

In Auckland, we've found an inspiring approach to qualifying electrical apprentices for their entry into the job market. The company is called etco*. They train electricians, place apprentices and put young people on the road to becoming successful people.


Etco* embarks on a three-year journey with the student, to help him or her become a successful person. It starts with simple personal values and disciplines like personal hygiene, dress, respect, consistency, and teamwork. It goes further by teaching students life-skills in managing their money, motivation, tools, and how to grow their careers.

Peter Rushworth, one of the founders of the initiative puts it well: "At etco*, students don't only learn how to make things, but they learn how to make things work." Most importantly, they are showed, taught and coached towards making their lives work. For many unsure and insecure school leavers, this provides an amazing hand up. This sets them onto a path of becoming a successful Producer. Their maker interests are given a chance to let them earn their livelihood. They get qualified for a trade, and earn along the way while doing so. Above all, they learn what it takes to be a successful human being.

More than three thousand of them have had this hand up already, and the results and feedback are phenomenal. It is so sought after that student compete for a chance to be part of this program. New Zealand electricians, especially the ones that came through the etco* system, can be found the world over. They are recognized and valued for their skills, but more so for being good, solid and contributing members of their respective communities. Many go on to have their own successful businesses that in turn, provide opportunities to a new group of apprentices that etco* sets on a path to future success.

Etco* is a wholly owned subsidiary of ECANZ (Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand). The business was established to provide employment and training for the electrical industry in New Zealand. Since their beginnings in 1991, their commitment to producing the best has helped thousands of Etco apprentices and students achieve outstanding results and successes, in industry competitions, national examinations, and the industry itself (

Their two main areas of activity are the employment and placement of electrical apprentices via their group apprenticeship scheme, the provision of training courses for apprentices and tradespeople.

Come with us, as we meet some of the Producers of tomorrow while being inspired by people that are committed to making other people successful.

Our Apprentice

This video was edited by our very own apprentice Video Producer: Henry van Wyk. It is his first Producer profile video.

Yes, he has the same name as I do - just an improved version, I guess. Henry has an exciting career ahead of him in the film and video industry, and we are privileged that he is starting it with us.

Henry joined Profiled Productions in March 2016. He will be accompanying us on our journey, as we travel the world looking for inspirational Producers and their stories. 

Please welcome Henry into the fold - he is more than the camera in "Two Cowboys and a Camera". We have high expectations of him, and we are excited to have him on the team!

Hendrik van Wyk

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Training - Old School ;-)

Right, Lesson 1...

Never get stuck behind the 8-ball.

if it doesn't switch on, then we always have some firewood.

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