"I’ve learnt a lot and my knowledge is growing all the time."
A quiet-spoken, steadfast individual, Henry was relatively new to security but he knew what to do.
“I went out there and told them to mind their own business. The following week the man came back and gave me a present to thank me for helping him out. That was a great feeling – knowing you can make a difference.”
For employer Darryl Stonnell of First Contact Security, it would have come as no surprise to see his trainee handle the situation so well.
Intelligent, committed and worthy are the words Darryl used when he nominated Henry for the Security Trainee of the Year 2012.
And yet, 18 months before he won the industry-wide award, Henry Lomalu was so afraid he wouldn’t measure up, especially with writing and theory, that it took all his courage not to walk away from the opportunity.
Struggling to find work on the Unemployment Benefit back in 2011, Henry was offered a place on an eight-week training course with a security company, First Contact. The company partners with Work and Income, training unemployed clients with the aim of moving them into work or further training.
It was the first time Henry had studied or trained since leaving school.
“I was so afraid that I almost had second thoughts. I wasn’t sure if I was capable or what I was getting myself into. But I’m pleased I convinced myself that this was something I could do and that I needed to do”, says Henry.
He shouldn’t have worried. Not only did he pass and gain a job, but First Contact saw the potential in Henry and encouraged him to go for the National Certificate in Security.
“It was a nice feeling to know that Darryl and the team supported me and wanted me to gain more qualifications. Otherwise I don’t think I would have attempted it. I was worried about the theory aspect; I’ve never had to write reports before or learn the specific alphabet used in the industry.”
Henry is now a team leader and studying towards the Level 3 certificate. He says he’s proud of what he’s done so far.
“I’ve learnt a lot and my knowledge is growing all the time.”
For Darryl, the reward is not only gaining a valuable employee but seeing Henry grow in confidence and skill.
He says he is impressed by Henry’s determination and hopes that winning the award will prove to Henry that he is capable of achieving even more.
“He is a prime example of someone who hasn’t found the training easy, has struggled at times, but has persevered and is now reaping the rewards of his efforts.”