Ten4 Transport Engineering employs 25 staff and over ten years of operation trained seven apprentices, two of whom are now senior management. Owner Paul Christie says employing apprentices “is all
about giving back to the community and bringing some fresh blood into the industry."
Jacob Monk is the firm’s most recent success story and after completing a 4-year apprenticeship in September 2020, is now a qualified Heavy Fabricator. Jacob first came to Paul’s attention when he was doing work experience through the Gateway Program at his High School and a year later Paul was able to offer him an apprenticeship.
Jacob says it wasn’t easy going and he made a few mistakes, like the time he locked the keys of a brand new truck in the cab so a locksmith had to be called up from Auckland. Initially he “struggled with following
detailed plans and measuring accurately”, transposing a couple of digits saw him cut parts to the wrong size on more than one occasion. Fortunately, he was paired up with Shaun Dodd (now the Manufacturing Manager) who “eased him into it” and was always on hand to answer questions and give guidance.
These days Jacob confidently works solo and is currently building a Broom Truck. It arrived as a bare chassis and Jacob’s single-handedly building the work box, platform and tipper unit which will take about 8
weeks to complete.
One of Jacob’s favourite parts of the job is TIG welding because “it’s more challenging… aluminium is a lot harder than welding steel” something he reckons anyone can do. He also enjoys fabricating parts
from a flat piece of steel which he describes as “making something out of nothing”.
While it was hard work, Jacob’s rapt to have achieved his qualification and is grateful for the job stability, something that’s especially important since becoming a father. He says the extra money he’s earning
since he qualified means that “for the first time ever I can save” and he’s putting money aside for a house deposit. He’s planning for the future and hopes in time to work his way up to a management role.