Fitting & Machining Apprentice in Hunter Valley a Quiet Achiever

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Fourth year Fitting & Machining apprentice, Tristan McKenzie has excelled in his Australian Apprenticeship with Hedweld Engineering in Mount Thorley, proving to be a quiet achiever who makes the most of every learning opportunity.

Tristan got his start in a trade when he became involved in a trades program at school, after starting to fall behind academically. The trades program gave him a Certificate of Attainment in Automotive Mechanics, and in year 10 he started a pre-apprenticeship course in Boilermaking. He also pursued extra studies at school in metal fabrication, where his teacher introduced him to the lathe and the fitting trade – and the love only grew from there. Tristan decided to pursue a full time apprenticeship, and secured his trade with MIGAS at 17 years of age.

Throughout his apprenticeship, Tristan set himself apart from other apprentices by extracting the maximum amount of knowledge and experience possible from every opportunity. To this end, Tristan volunteered to lead a project for Hedweld in which he was required to manufacture casting dies for a product. The project involved a higher level of machining which was a new area for Hedweld, and included the production of 3 axis contouring programs, high precision milling and an advanced level of hand finishing and fitting. Tristan rose to the challenge, completing the project at a high standard within a tight timeframe. He then undertook the manufacture of the next dies at the next level, producing his own CAD drawings for the tooling and gave input into the design requirements.

Now in his final year, Tristan is on track to finish his apprenticeship in December 2016, but has also expressed an interest in completing a boilermaking course in his own time.  Having won multiple workplace awards at his host company Hedweld Engineering, including Hedweld Apprentice of the Year for 2014 and Hedweld Apprentice of the Month four times throughout 2013 and 2014, as well as taking home the Outstanding Achievement (Apprentice) Award at the 2015 MIGAS Awards Night, Tristan is very highly regarded by the workshop tradespeople, and extremely committed to work.

Fitters are currently on the National Skills Needs List, with great requirement for skilled apprentices and future tradespeople just like Tristan on a National level. Find out more about what a Fitting career could do for you >

Or, if you already know it's the trade for you, check out our current vacancies >

Published 22 February 2016