Kenny McCord has picked up a wide range of skills through the mechanical engineer and glass technician apprenticeships that he completed through Competenz.

“The apprenticeships involved completing ‘on job’ units and night school classes, then there were block courses, which consisted of spending three weeks at MIT full-time working on papers that involved welding, machining, alignment, and other tasks. The engineering apprenticeship also required a certain amount of working hours to be completed.”

Achieving a Level 4 certificate in both subjects, Kenny now works in a plant maintenance shop at O-I New Zealand, and his day-to-day responsibilities include everything from design to repair, maintenance, and construction of machinery.

“I work a lot with motors, gearboxes, shafts, gears, and bearings, and there is some light fabrication and welding involved as well. I also spend time on job changes that require me to change the settings, sizes, measurements, and programs of glass-making machines, bottle transport, and packing equipment. Plant maintenance at O-I covers everything from machinery that works with the raw materials, all the way to packaging the finished product.”

Pleased he decided to embark on an engineering apprenticeship, Kenny says it was great learning a variety of new abilities while working with a range of materials – and it is also good not having to worry about a student loan.

“An apprenticeship in general is also good because you gain a desired qualification, which means you can work in so many industries and companies – you earn while you learn as well.

“Every day is different. You work with your hands and your mind, and you see a project through all stages from design to construction and operation. The world will always need engineers, so job security is good as well.”

The industry is always evolving, so Kenny says keeping up with technology is important and continued learning is recommended. But there weren’t too many hurdles for him to overcome due to lots of support from the training company, his employer, and the people Kenny has been working with.

“They all help you with your learning and make sure you know what to expect.”

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