Mainline in Hamilton is one of New Zealand’s leading manufacturers of fuel storage tanks and sheet metal products.
With more than 30 years in business, Mainline’s customised workshop is equipped with the latest tools and technology and an 22-strong team of clever engineers and apprentices who can create almost anything from mild steel, aluminium, stainless steel, brass, or copper.
As well as storage tanks, Mainline has produced a range of custom-made products, from air conditioning ducting to letterboxes, steel beams and handrails to brass bench tops, sign frames and stairs.
Light Fabrication Apprentice
Top Career Tip
“Get yourself out there! Hand out your CV, find out about businesses before you visit and never give up!”
A Chat with Bryce about his role
» Mainline Light Fabrication Apprentice
» Former Cambridge High School student
How did you get into this job?
Last year I finished my Wintec course and I ended up dropping my CV around at a bunch of places looking for a job. My tutor recommended Mainline, and so I decided to drop my CV around here. They said I looked all good and here I am!
What do you love about it?
I really like to work with my hands. I’m not an office person! I’m a light fabricator. My day consists of a range of smaller jobs… making small pieces to how they want them. I get given something and need to make it a certain way. I like the fact that the work is hands on.
What have you learnt on the job?
I’ve learnt a lot about working with sheet metal, such as welding, using the machinery, cutting the sheet metal and different ways to calculate measurements for it. A lot of different skills that are quite job specific. You learn things without realising you are!
What do you wish you knew when you left school?
I wish I had paid a bit more attention in maths. I did it and I completed and passed but it didn’t really stick with me. I know the basics, but it would help if I knew a bit more.
What does someone need to know when starting out at work?
You’ve got to be enthusiastic, even if you don’t like what you are doing. Don’t give up because everybody starts somewhere.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
I guess a big one is waking up early, especially since I leave for work from Cambridge. I leave home at 5.45am and then leave here at 4.30pm in the evening. When we were doing earlier starts, I had to leave Cambridge by 5:30!
What do you like most about working at Mainline?
I like that it’s relaxed. You’re still working hard and fast, but you don’t feel under too much pressure. The environment at Mainline is super friendly too!
What advice do you have for keeping balanced and managing stress?
Keep up your hobbies and have stuff to do outside work. It helps to break it up a bit!
Where would you like to go with your career?
My first goal is to get fully qualified. Eventually, the dream is to open my own business.
Fabrication engineers may do some or all of the following…
⇒ examine drawings and other instructions for jobs
⇒ draw patterns and cut them out of different metals
⇒ drill and punch holes in the metal for screws, bolts or rivets
⇒ fold, form and shape metal
⇒ join and weld metal pieces
⇒ polish and check the quality of the finished product
Becoming a Light Fabrication Apprentice
Skills, subjects and qualifications
Mainline is always keen to hear from enthusiastic and clever young people who are keen to start an engineering career.
Mainline looks for people who:
- Turn up on time, every time
- Are good with their hands
- Can solve problems
- Don’t mind a bit of hard work
- Want to start a great career!
Useful School Subjects
- Metal Technology