Through the roof success
At 16 years old, Sam Gascoigne left school. He knew he wanted to go into roofing and make something of himself. Sam, now 28, owns and operates his own company STS Roofing in Auckland with business partner (and brother) Tim and two employees.
Sam mixes his business ownership, with a successful career in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and work with youth for The Skills Organisation.
“Yes, I decided to leave school at 16, but I knew I wanted to go into the roofing trade and I knew I was making the best decision for my future,” says Sam.
For Sam choosing to enter an apprenticeship was by no means a “cop-out”.
“An apprenticeship requires focus and discipline.
“Some people think being in a trade means you’re not as smart as someone who went to uni, or you don’t work as hard. I don’t know why. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get where I am today and I reckon you have to have a few smarts to run your own business.”
Focus and discipline is something he’s keen to see in young New Zealander’s making career choices after school.
“It can be really hard to keep on top of everything, especially when trying to balance family life which is an important part of my Samoan culture. It’s crucial to always be aware of your end goal and not to become distracted when things don’t go your way,” says Sam.
“I try to keep a good balance of work, family and sport. I love being my own boss. Being able to implement my own practices, good ethics and influence the quality of the workmanship makes it all worth it… plus the salary isn’t too bad,” says Sam.
The father of two says he does it all for his two daughters and wants to give them the best start in life possible.
Sam has been able to gain qualifications in his trade through on-job learning.
He says, “Being certified was important to me. It gives customers an assurance about my level of competence. In fact, being able to show my level of qualification has helped me gain new business. It also gives me a real sense of accomplishment.
“I love being my own boss. Being able to implement my own practices, good ethics and influence the quality of the workmanship makes it all worth it… plus the salary isn’t too bad,” says Sam.
He says a good income and on-the-job qualifications are there for those prepared to work.
“If you want to do something like this, don’t stop. There will always be someone telling you not to waste your time, or pointing out how hard something is. Don’t stop,” he says.