James Bremer

It took James Bremer a while to figure out what he wanted to do. James worked in TV, education and construction before realising his true passion is helping other people realise their full potential. He embarked on a Social Services degree, majoring in career practice, with the goal of becoming a careers counsellor. 

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James' path to his career in social services has not been straightforward — he has dabbled in many industries, including television, education and construction.

"I was a camera operator for Channel 39, filming about five news stories a day."

But going on a Christian mission to Tonga prompted James to revaluate his priorities.

"I decided I wanted to do more with people. I became a teacher aide and youth worker, and then did a diploma of Christian Ministry at Equippers College. After that, I started my Bachelor of Social Services at Otago Polytechnic."

James realised his variety of work experience made him particularly suited to helping others find fulfilling work opportunities. During his Bachelor of Social Services, James has specialised in career practice, a major that focuses on how to help individuals reach their full potential through employment.  

To support himself through his studies, James has done construction temping work. 

“I’ve done a range of jobs including stop go, concrete cutting and drain laying. And I now have a much broader understanding of the trades and what’s available. There’s huge opportunity.” 

The final year of his degree was spent interning at Workforce Central Dunedin — a skills hub that matches people with construction roles.  

“It’s about helping people get into trades, and all the career pathways that are available. There are real opportunities out there.” 

During his internship James participated in the delivery of careers events and expos.   

“The biggest was a Careers Fair in Mosgiel. The Dunedin trades community brought a bunch of toys out, including a truck driving simulator.”  

James has also shadowed Workforce Central Operations Manager Raymond Clark.   

“We’ve gone along to meetings like the Tertiary Education Commission meetings — a national online forum. That was really cool to be a part of,” James says. “Raymond’s been really supportive.”  

James is excited to continue using the skills he has learned throughout his degree. 

“I like helping people figure out what they’re good at and what they like doing, encouraging them with the knowledge that they’ve got the potential, and helping get them into a career that suits their needs and their lifestyle.”

James Bremer

Graduate, Bachelor of Social Services

Published on 27 Jan 2023