Apprenticeship Stories

Interested about our light fabrication, heavy fabrication or fitting and machining apprenticeships? Read some real life experiences from our Farra Apprentices.

Mat's Story

Mat is an apprentice in our Heavy Machining workshop. He didn't always envision himself with a trade but after some trials and work experience, he has found his calling.

What made you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I kind of fell into an apprenticeship. My Dad is a builder by trade and because of that we were always creating things when I was young.

After high school Dad encouraged me to do something different from him, so I spent six months at University as a Chemistry Major before deciding I didn't enjoy it and it wasn't what I wanted to do.

I then moved on to gain work experience from the Farra Light Engineering Stainless workshop and it was from that experience I found that I enjoyed creating things out of metal and I haven't looked back since. I have moved from Light Engineering to heavy machining and am in my second year of my apprenticeship.

What type of work do you get to be apart of?

The machining workshop creates a lot of different parts for big pieces of machinery. I have been involved with the programming of Farra's machines which are used to create components for building maintenance units and hydro power station parts for example.

I also get to go on site and complete the fitting of components created in the workshop. These have included completing crane maintenance and rebuilds, and factory maintenance.

Benefits of an Apprenticeship / Rewards from your Work?

Getting paid while learning is always a big bonus. I have also found that I have learnt more about myself than I did at University and getting out of the University/school environment has me learning more life skills.

It is also rewarding going to work everyday, seeing something that started off as broken and in need of repair, fixing it and seeing it working again. I can literally see the outcome of my hard work.

How has the support been from Farra?

Farra has been extremely supportive in helping me find what I am passionate about. As I started my apprenticeship in Light Engineering and switched to machining, Farra allowed me the flexibility to find what I enjoy.

In the future I look forward to finishing my apprenticeship and knowing that if I want to continue learning new skills that can enhance my role, I have the support and encouragement to do so as Farra is extremely supportive of workers completing Advanced Learning.


Mark's Story

Mark is  one of our newer apprentices. He is technically in the second year of his apprenticeship as he has completed the Polytechnic's pre-trade course but has been in our Apprenticeship Programme for 4 months.

How did you start your Apprenticeship?

I previously spent six years working at a different business operating and maintaining machines and saw a youtube video about getting an apprenticeship. It looked exactly like what I wanted to do so I enrolled in the Polytechnic and completed the one year, Level 3 Mechanical Engineering Pre-trade course. The work experience for my course lead me to Farra's Heavy Fabrication Workshop and after that was complete I was offered a role as a labourer.

I spent 10 months as a labourer and was helping out staff in the machine shop working on the lathe and loved it. It was from that work that I got offered my apprenticeship.

What type of work do you get to be apart of?

Last year I was working out on site at the Waipori Hydro Power Station taking out the giant valves that control the stations water flow so that they could be transported to Farra's workshops for refurbishment. So far this year I am helping to install the Floor Borer Machine, which is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and will be used to machine and refurbish more of the bigger Hydro Power Station parts.

Benefits of an Apprenticeship / Rewards from your Work?

My apprenticeship has allowed me to make and see how things are being made while teaching me hands on skills. With the fitting aspect of the job I have gained an understanding of how things work which has changed the way I look at things.

I also really enjoy being able to explore new places. Being involved with the site works side of things has let me explore Waipori and I am looking forward to go to the Waitaki Valley later this year.

How has the Support been from Farra?

The workshop tradespeople have been extremely helpful throughout my time at Farra and you can always find someone willing to help if needed.

Hayden's Story

Hayden is one of our recently qualified apprentices. He completed his apprenticeship in July 2019 and now works full time in our Machine Workshop and out on sites.

How did you start your apprenticeship?

Dad was a fitter and turner so I grew up with an interest in machining. Mum encouraged me to go and get work experience at Farra Engineering and after awhile Farra Management recommended me to go to the Polytechnic and complete the pre-trade course.

During the Polytechnic holidays and work experience I came back to Farra and after completing my course I was offered an apprenticeship at Farra.

What your Work Entails?

I complete any projects on the CNC Mill that are passed my way and for the past 6 months, at least, I have been on site with Meridian Energy as part of the maintenance team helping them fill their maintenance needs for their Hydro Power Stations.


Benefits of an Apprenticeship / rewards from your work?

An apprenticeship gives you a qualification while getting paid. Experience in the engineering industry also provides you with opportunities all around the world, rewards you by being able to see projects completed and you can get paid good money too.

If you went back in time would you choose to do an apprenticeship again?

I would definitely still follow the apprenticeship pathway if I had to do it all over again.

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