Shannon Feaver says there is no way in the world he’d be doing what he is doing now, without his UCOL qualification and the confidence he gained while completing it.
“I’ve gone from not being able to weld very well, to having a full-time job as a welder,” he says.
The 31 year old has a background in the mining industry, working as a heavy machine operator in Northern Queensland and a stint at an Otago gold mine.
A chance visit to a friend in Palmerston North and the desire to get a qualification in a trade resulted in his enrolment at UCOL.
“The mining industry is quite unpredictable so I wanted a trade I could use anywhere.”
He started a six month UCOL computer course but soon decided working at a desk was not for him. The engineering Certificate programme appealed so he thought he’d give it a go. “I like getting my hands dirty.”
Shannon admits he didn’t do well at school and struggled academically. He was a little concerned that he might find the theory component of the programme too difficult, but says the tutors were really helpful.
“It was a bit weird at first being the oldest in the class, but in the end it didn’t matter,” he says. “I learned a lot.”
Freuhauf offered Shannon work experience for the last month of his studies and when he passed his Certificate, they gave him a full-time job.
He is now doing a UCOL managed apprenticeship with the company, a goal that will take another three years to achieve.
In the future, Shannon would like to expand his skills into heavy fabrication and return to the mining industry, confident that he will be well qualified and work ready.
Freuhauf is an engineering-led company that custom designs and manufactures trucks, provides repairs and refurbishments, carries out maintenance and parts service, and advises on regulatory compliance.