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“I was signed up to do an engineering degree at Auckland uni but then decided I didn’t want to do four more years of study straight from school. So I took a gap year and did the mechanical engineering six-month NorthTec course instead. It gave me a chance to learn how to use each of the machines and in the process I found I love machining.”
“About a month into the course the tutor said there was an apprenticeship coming up at what was then Brian Craig Engineering, which specialised in machining rather than fabrication, so I grabbed the opportunity to do work experience there each Wednesday while I was studying. After a three-month trial they took me on as an apprentice.”
Eden is now in her second year of the apprenticeship. “In the course I learned everything I needed to go into the apprenticeship. My Dad had a good engineering workshop so I knew the basics but I love the focus on machining here. I especially enjoy the challenge of the maths involved in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) process. I do the same work as the rest of the engineers here and I have a full-time supervisor to answer any questions I have.”
“The instructors and staff at NorthTec have been very helpful by recently fitting me into their fabrication block courses here in Whangarei for my machining standards, and saving me my previous big commute down to MIT, which is otherwise the closest tech offering my course.”
Since Eden began her apprenticeship, the business has been sold to Logan Garden, a previous employee there who maintained all the existing employment contracts. Eden says that in the time she has been working, she has gained a lot more confidence both in her work and as a person. “My skill set has increased and I make fewer mistakes but I still have too many entries in the first aid book!”
"My biggest challenge is finding the motivation to get up in the morning to commute from Kaiwaka and start work at 7am, but I’m keen to complete my apprenticeship and then continue to work here at BCE precision to get more experience."
Longer term, Eden says she would like to have her own workshop doing more home or personal projects for customers. “I love doing the precision work here, but because most of our work is for industry, there isn’t much face to face contact with the customers.”
“If you’re thinking of starting a career in Mechanical Engineering, come to NorthTec first because they teach all you...
"The stand-out of the course for me is that all the content is relevant to what I want to do and the tutors help us...
“Everything is a challenge here because I haven’t studied for years but the tutors help me to wrap my head around it...