We are very proud to have won the 2024 MATRIX INNOVATION AWARD. Click here for details

"A steep learning curve"

Ten4 Engineering has grown dramatically over the past 10 years and they are now a team of 25, including 14 qualified tradesmen and two apprentices but, with their services in hot demand, they need more staff.

Owners Paul and Vicki Christie have always seen the value of investing in people and say as employers “it’s important to give back to the local community and to bring some fresh blood into the industry.” Plus, they know from experience that training staff from scratch results in good work ethics and strong staff retention.

As an example, Glenn Scoles has been with them for over 9 years. He had drifted in an out of jobs in hospitality, computer sales, video editing and 3D modelling but needed to expand his horizons. Deciding he wanted a long-term career and job security, Glenn did a pre-trade course and in 2012 secured employment at Ten4. He qualified as a Heavy Fabricator in 2018 and because of his previous computer experience, Paul put him through further training to help him become proficient in Solidworks Design.

Glenn recalls the best thing about getting an apprenticeship was “having 4 solid years of knowing what I was working towards.” He says it was a steep learning curve and everyday saw a new challenge. One skill he
needed to develop was the ability to measure accurately. It is something he says can be easily overlooked but is probably the most crucial skill in fabricating. “One time I set up the guillotine incorrectly but didn’t realise
it until after I had cut 20 parts that were 2mm out at each end. Paul was pretty good about us making mistakes, provided we learned from them.” After that Glenn’s motto became “measure twice, cut once!”

Glenn says having plenty of practical experience has really helped his design because he understands the construction process. He says the best part about his current role is seeing the 3D models come to life, without having to do it himself.

Asked about the future he said “I love working here! My plan is to keep developing my skills because I still have lots to learn.”

And Glenn’s advice for anyone else lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship is to “grab it with both hands. The future is not set in stone but if you do an apprenticeship, you’ll always have a trade to fall back on.”