20 June 2018
Four of the seven Acorn Foundation scholarships given to Bay of Plenty engineering firms this year have been awarded to mechanical engineering apprentices at Page Macrae Engineering in Mt Maunganui.
Each recipient was awarded $3,000 to spend on tools, with Page Macrae receiving an additional $4,300 for each student to put towards further training for the apprentices.
Page Macrae’s apprentice training co-ordinator Grant Holland says the company has had a strong apprenticeship programme with 21 apprentices currently working towards their mechanical engineering qualifications and three recently qualified.
“For the past eight years we’ve been training apprentices, pushing them to become excellent tradespeople for the future. Part of the Acorn Foundation scholarship is funding for us to further their skills through specialist training programmes including forklift driving. It’s fantastic these young people are being rewarded – they had to prove the sacrifices they made and their commitment to their apprenticeships.”
One of the recipients, 19-year-old Grace Lowe, lives in Gate Pa. Like her colleagues, she began her mechanical engineering apprenticeship through ATNZ – the country’s largest mechanical engineering training organisation – in January this year.
“Receiving this scholarship from the Acorn Foundation means a great deal to me. The money will help to pay for my tools, which will help me to work more efficiently and accurately in my trade. I will also use some of the money to buy a respirator for welding so I’m not breathing in toxic welding fumes. I can also now afford to purchase a pair of women’s work boots – that means a lot as up until now I’ve been using men’s boots which are far too big and heavier than I’m used to.
“I really appreciate this very generous helping hand and am extremely grateful – it’s made a massive impact towards my growth as an engineer.”