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Horse trainer/employee pairing on track thanks to scheme

Waitaki App

Staff Reporter

17 March 2024, 11:17 PM

Horse trainer/employee pairing on track thanks to schemePerks of the job - Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher (left) and horse trainer Brad Williamson take a lap around the race track courtesy of Greta the horse. Photo: supplied.

Another successful employee/employer pairing is off and racing thanks to the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs.

Ōamaru woman Jayda Loper, was placed in employment at Brad Williamson Racing through the scheme, and she loves it.

“It’s definitely a different kind of job and vibe, but I’ve learned a lot. 

“I wouldn’t have imagined myself working here, and didn’t think I’d come back to horses, but I used to ride when I was younger. 

“I love the people here, they’re supportive and nice, and I even get to have a drive which is great fun.”

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher and members of the Mayor’s Taskforce For Jobs (MTFJ) visited Brad Williamson Racing last week, to see Jayda and her employer Brad.

Brad is one of Waitaki Sports Hall of Fame inductee Phil Williamson’s three sons. The two, together with Phil’s other two sons, Matthew and Nathan, have driven more than 3000 winners in harness racing, and train horses at their North Otago stables.

During his visit, the mayor was taken on a run around the track on a sulky, led by Greta, one of the Williamson’s winning horses.

“The Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs is about getting great outcomes for young people and employers in our district,” Gary said.

“Brad and the Williamsons are just one of the wide range of different employers in Waitaki, and being able to work with them, and find the right person for the job, demonstrates that when local communities are given responsibility and funding, they can find better local solutions to local problems.”

This visit is the second of three the mayor is carrying out, to help spread the word of the scheme’s success in the district. Last month he visited Network Waitaki, and hopes to visit one more employer in the coming weeks.

Each year the MTFJ has exceeded its targets of placing young people in apprenticeships and employment across the district.


Funded by the Ministry of Social Development, it is hoped the scheme will continue to help find local solutions to employ local young people in local businesses.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher, horse trainer Brad Williamson, and employee Jayda Loper. Photo: supplied