Growing the apprenticeship model in the outdoors

January 29, 2020

Outdoor recreation instructor Christopher Gilbertson, known to one and all as Gilby, is inspiring his students through the medium of the outdoors – and his passion has been captured in a brand new video.

Gilby graduated with a Skills Active Multi-Activity Instructor apprenticeship last year. This qualification reflects his 20-plus years of experience in the outdoors.

As well as being a great tertiary training option for people starting out in their careers, apprenticeships can also be a vehicle to formally recognise the skills and knowledge of highly experienced professionals who have not previously qualified in their field. This was the case for Gilby.

“I’m 43 and I’ve been working in this industry for 23 years. I’m not a young kid out of school that needs to do an apprenticeship – but I saw it as professional development as well.”

On-the-job learning was a good fit for Gilby, says his manager at Whenua Iti Outdoors, Mark Bruce-Miller.

“An apprenticeship model where he can be assessed on the job is much more suitable to his style of learning,” Bruce-Miller says.

“New Zealand needs more apprenticeships – that’s across every industry. We’ve got the skills to train them on the job, we’ve got employers looking to train them on the job. Let’s do the sensible thing and make our apprenticeship model grow.”

To see Gilby in his element leading a trip in Abel Tasman National Park, check out the video.


Media contact for Skills Active

Esther McLaren

021 195 5127

About Skills Active

Skills Active Aotearoa is the 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.