He had been living through some very tough personal times, he was struggling at school, and made the brave decision to move from the West Coast to Blenheim for a fresh start.
“It’s quite a sad story,” Corbin says. “I was 16, no job, no nothing. So I came up here.”
He got a job, but decided to leave to attend community college and get his NCEA Level 1 qualification.
Corbin says he enrolled in the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering at NMIT to do something positive with his life.
“I've always loved maths, chemistry, science, physics, just the way things move,” he says. “So I thought I'd come into somewhere where I can actually use it.”
The one-year programme prepares students for an apprenticeship or entry-level work in the automotive industry.
Students spend three days a week getting a hands-on education in the NMIT workshop or classroom and two days a week getting real-world experience in a work placement.
Corbin says the course is “very interactive” and he’s learned a lot from the helpful tutors.
“It's fun and you get interactive learning. You learn a lot more than automotive. It's very science and physics-based. You also use your maths, which you need everywhere.”
Corbin says he has lined up some work experience that will hopefully lead to an apprenticeship next year.
If he secures an apprenticeship, NMIT tutors will support him in the managed apprenticeship programme.
The programme provides extra support, evening classes, block courses and more for students undertaking an industry apprenticeship.
Corbin says he’s not sure where he will be in 20 years from now, but he’s enjoying the learning experience which is helping to provide him with options for his life.