Channelling a feeling for fitness into a professional exercise career

May 18, 2020

At Peak Fitness gym in Hawke’s Bay, Neil Wagstaff has carefully built a team that reflects the philosophy and the principles behind his business.

Neil, who is a registered Skills Active assessor, has supported his staff to upskill and progress their exercise careers, through on-job qualifications.

Peak Fitness trainers Carlos Kumeroa and Rachel Burt (pictured below) got to where they are now by first discovering a passion for exercise as gym members themselves.

2107 carlos and rachael

With the support of Neil, Carlos and Rachel have both since completed a number of on-job qualifications. This has helped them develop their professional practice and expand their skills.

“The qualifications that we've been very fortunate to work with, through Skills Active, have really allowed us to develop a great team here,” says Neil.

“Being a Skills Active assessor is a fun and exciting role. It allows me to work with some very cool people - people who want to help others make a change in their lives.

“We’re very lucky here in the environment we work in, we’ve got a lot of great staff. A lot of our team here serve as evidence verifiers [for the assessment process]. So they observe and collect the information, and then I can sit down with trainees like Carlos and Rachel, to complete the assessments.

“The qualifications are a mix of practical and written, which allows us to assess them in lots of different environments. Carlos and Rachel learn very differently, and we can use different techniques and different pathways to help them get to the level they need to be. It’s been a very fun journey,” Neil says.

Without the Skills Active on-job training process, Peak Fitness “would have struggled to recruit” the right candidates, he adds.

“It’s allowed us to hire people from within our community, and people who have got similar beliefs and philosophies as us.

“And it’s allowed us to get them up to speed qualification-wise, and we get a massive amount of reward from seeing them do jobs they enjoy and do them well.”

You can learn more about Neil, Carlos and Rachel in the Peak Fitness video.


Media contact for Skills Active

Esther McLaren Noble

021 195 5127

About Skills Active

Skills Active Aotearoa is the transitional industry training organisation for recreation, exercise, sport and performing arts. We are a non-profit organisation, 50% owned by Māori shareholders, and funded by government to promote careers and workforce development in our industries, work with those industries to create world-class qualifications, and support workplaces to train staff.