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April 30th, 2015

Making it easy to train the ‘best of the best’

Auckland-based engineering firm Fluid & General is training their first ATNZ apprentice — and it's proving a good experience. According to owner, Dave Potter, it’s the flexibility of the ATNZ offer that benefits his company most.

“Training an ATNZ apprentice helps us manage our risk. If the apprentice doesn’t work out, it’s ATNZ who manage the employment issues. And if I don’t have the work or equipment our apprentices need to complete their training, ATNZ finds an employer who can fill the gaps. So it works for everyone.”

Dave appreciates the support of his ATNZ account manager, Reg Currin, who visits regularly to check on the progress of apprentice Stanley Grant.

“Reg is really good and approachable. And the ATNZ service is well structured, with ten visits from Reg each year and the backup of the Competenz team when we need it.”

Dave himself is a good example of someone who has used his trades training to get ahead.

“According to my dad, I went to school to eat my lunch. He understood the value of a trades qualification, and gave me an ultimatum – get an apprenticeship or go back to school.”

An apprenticeship it was (or rather two), and Dave graduated six years later as a qualified fitter/turner and fitter/welder. The structured, hands-on nature of his trades training worked well for him. “I never looked back.”

Today Dave runs a company that employs 15 people and provides hydraulic, filtration and pneumatics sales and service from Taupo north. The firm sets high standards for their learners.

“They want their apprentices to be the best of the best,” says Reg.

Fluid & General extends those same standards to the way they run their business.

“Like every employer, we need to keep our people with us once they’re qualified”, says Dave. “It’s up to us to provide an environment that makes them want to stay – and we put a lot of effort into doing that.”

Picture: Fluid & General Hydraulics and pneumatics engineering, Auckland One ATNZ apprentice (engineering)