Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti
30 seconds ago
Chris Hirini was poised to go to university to study for a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering after school, but the time was not right, so he chose to do the New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 3) programme at EIT last year.
It was a decision he has not regretted. He is now enjoying a mechanical engineering (machining) apprenticeship at Franklin Engineering in Onekawa, Napier. Recently he was awarded the Apprentice Training New Zealand (ATNZ) Award for Excellence in the New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Level 3) (Welding) 2021 at the Rotary Club of Greenmeadows and EIT Hawke’s Bay Trade Training Awards.
Chris is also a scholarship winner of EIT’s Te Ara o Tākitimu, a Māori and Pasifika trade training initiative run in conjunction with Ngāti Kahungunu, which is designed to assist 16-40 year olds with aspirations in a wide range of trade training areas. Te Ara o Takitimu participants get free study, pastoral support, finance to overcome barriers like transport costs and also get support to link with their kaupapa. They are also assisted in the search for work experience, jobs or apprenticeships through EIT’s work brokers.”
However, it nearly did not work out that way for 19-year-old Chris, as he almost took a completely different career pathway.
“Ever since I was little I’ve always seemed to find myself taking stuff apart and figuring out how it works. I planned to go to university, but then I wasn’t really too sure when it came time to finish school. I did not want to sit around for a year, so I thought ‘I’ll see where this apprenticeship route into engineering will go versus going to university and doing a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering or something.”
“I’m quite happy with the way it’s going as I soon started to realise many of the people actually working in the industry have gone through apprenticeships, and it doesn’t actually matter about having a university degree.”
Chris is currently in the second year of his four-year apprenticeship and is enjoying his time at Franklin Engineering.
The basis for the success of his apprenticeship stems from his first year at EIT.
“A lot of the basics were covered very well and the tutors at EIT were very good.”
EIT Mechanical Engineering Tutor Patrick Doohan says: “Chris showed real enthusiasm for engineering during his time at EIT and got stuck-in right from the start. His attention to detail and reliability were key to his success in the programme. Chris got to experience different mechanical engineering strands while at EIT, this helped him find industry-based work experience and was key to him securing an apprenticeship.”