Mechanical engineers build and maintain the machinery and tools that keep New Zealand’s manufacturing and engineering industries running.
National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, General Engineering, Level 4.
Gareth Owston-Doyle always knew that he was going to have a creative hands-on career, but little did he know that the Newmarket Viaduct in Auckland was going to kick-start his engineering apprenticeship.
Gareth decided that he would follow in his father’s footsteps and take up plumbing but the recession in 2009 meant there was very little opportunity for work. Eventually Gareth found work as a labourer for a small engineering company in Warkworth who was contracted to the bridge-works on the Newmarket viaduct development in Auckland.
This was the start of the amazing opportunities that began to shape Gareth’s career. He was approached by 2 companies both offering him the opportunity to do an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering and in the end he chose Fulton Hogan.
‘I did pretty much everything from stressing, truss, electrical testing and tagging, repairing diesel maintenance and servicing. Pretty much everything on-site I got to do.’
The most enjoyable part of his apprenticeship was helping the engineers to solve problems. By working alongside more experienced staff, he was able to offer design ideas then make and implement those designs. Not all of the designs worked, but Gareth enjoyed being part of the team and being included in the development of solutions. “I’m a lot younger but they still let me have a go. There was none of the ‘he’s a young guy and doesn’t know his stuff’.” Gareth completed his Competenz Level 4 Mechanical Engineering qualification, in February 2013 and he has stayed with Fulton Hogan as a welder based at Ranui. He is keen to continue to learn a wider range of skills, develop his welding and progress up to a foreman or leading hand.
Gareth’s plans for the future involve international work on big projects that are ‘firsts’ – just like the Newmarket Viaduct.