We all know that training to become a highly skilled and productive worker is a huge commitment – a commitment of time and effort, and of course money. That’s why Competenz, the industry training organisation for the engineering and manufacturing industries, has awarded three scholarships – helping to ease the financial pain.
Valued at $1,000 each, the scholarships were awarded to Connor Farrell of M A Brown Engineering, Nathan Cooper of Donaghys Industries Ltd, and Oscar Barnett of Acme Engineering Ltd. “I’m a stepfather to three kids – so as you can imagine, the budget in my household is very tight at the moment; the scholarship is big help,” says Connor. The scholarships encourage higher level learning, meaning the recipients have already completed an apprenticeship at Level 4, and are this year studying towards a Level 5 qualification with their well-deserved financial support.
All three recipients are using the scholarship to train for the National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, Level 5. “In around three or four years I’d like to venture out and start my own engineering business – so completing this course will give me a better understanding of how to run a competent business,” says Connor. “Before I started my apprenticeship I completed a pre-apprentice course. Eventually I also want to get into tutoring these courses.”
Nathan, who currently works in the maintenance and diagnostics field, is using the scholarship to help him with recently added challenges and responsibilities in his job. “I’m starting to be given projects to increase production and install and design a new plant. The plans go to management for sign-off, and are then put into action on the production line,” says Nathan. “So the Level 5 qualification will help me along my career path and be helpful for my employer as they can gain from the new skills I’m learning.” And Oscar, who last year came third when he proudly represented Competenz and ACME Engineering at the New Zealand World Skills final, is using the scholarship to grow his capabilities. “I feel that going through my Level 4 qualification has greatly improved my skills, and I hope that completing Level 5 will improve me even more,” says Oscar.
Competenz is committed to supporting education and wants to ensure New Zealand’s engineering and manufacturing workers have the skills to lead rewarding careers.