Fitting & machining

Fitters and machinists make and assemble the precision engineering parts that keep New Zealand industries running

Ashton Fleming - Taking on a career in steel

Ashton Fleming

It seems Ashton Fleming has a penchant for something that puts most people on edge – the sound of grinding metal. The young fitting and machining apprentice sports a passion for stock car racing, working with steel, and almost anything else to do with machines.

Taking up a metal-related trade may well have contained an element of inevitability for the 24-year-old. “I’ve always been interested in metalwork and working with steel. Over the past two years I’ve learnt all sorts of skills – pretty much every manual machine in the machine shop, I know how to operate.”

Her apprenticeship at Hayes International, a manufacturer based in Rotorua, gives her the opportunity to develop some highly useful skills to further her other passion. The company specialises in building quality machinery for the worldwide market – and with a little innovation, Ashton is able transfer these skills to the world of stock car racing, regularly using the expertise she has gleaned to make her own mechanical parts.

The opportunity to work with what she loves on a daily basis means Ashton has no regrets. “When I look back at my decision to become an apprentice, I am definitely happy that I did it. There’s nothing else I would rather be doing. It’s a lot of fun and really interesting work.”

View a video of Ashton at work below.