Raymon Jones whose mechanical engineering skills got him a job at Betteridge Engineering in Lower Hutt

Press Release 23 September 2016

Each day Raymon Jones puts into practice the mechanical skills he learnt at WelTec, whether he is in his firm's workshop or on-site for a client. 

“All the things I've learned have helped me, all that knowledge you gain from the tutors,” says Raymon, who now works as an apprentice at Betteridge Engineering, a general engineering firm in Petone.  “We do structural steel and a lot of earthquake strengthening for both commercial and residential. We work on elements like steel beams and structural steel to hold all the weight and tension.”

Raymon has completed the first year of the Certificate in Mechanical Engineering; the second year is done through night classes while students are working in industry. He got the apprenticeship opportunity through his tutors at WelTec.

“Last year I got the apprenticeship at Betteridge Engineering and they're paying for my further study, which I'm very thankful for,” says Raymon.

Paul Betteridge, Works Manager at Betteridge Engineering, says they approach the tutors to see who they would recommend for jobs.

“When we need apprentices, we always go to WelTec. As well as Raymon, we have another apprentice from WelTec at the moment and we have had others in the past,” says Paul.

“It works well all round, especially as we're just down the road.”

Paul's father, Ray, established the firm and has run it for over 40 years. “We started in Wellington and have been here in the Hutt coming up 20 years. We've got a team of about 12,” says Paul.

“Raymon's doing well in his apprenticeship. He's always very happy, very polite and he's a very good welder. He works in the workshop as well as on-site where he's learning how we put into practice what we build.”

Originally from Gisborne, Raymon (Ngāti Porou) has been in Wellington for about eight years and attended Wainuiomata High School. He says he had always been keen on mechanical engineering and with the support of a Māori Trades Scholarship was able to start training at WelTec.

“My dad does the same thing as I do, which is what got me into it. It's just what I've always really wanted to do – to work with steel and work with metal. I love making things, doing stuff with my hands,” says Raymon.

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarships provide recipients with financial support (the tuition fees are covered by the scholarship), as well as other practical support such as helping students get their driver's licence, which is often a requirement to work in the industry.

“The scholarship gave me a good start in life without having debt over my head. At the time, I was working two part-time jobs so the scholarship really helped me get through my first year,” says Raymon. “It also helped me get my learner's licence and paid for my test, and I'm on my restricted now.”