Apprentice at Express Sheetmetals

Joshua Hickmott

Joshua Barry Hickmott (now 21) from Papatoetoe, Auckland began his apprenticeship with Express Sheetmetals at 17 years of age.

  • Q. What led your interest in metal?

    A. I initially started my career within the building trade and decided that wood just wasn’t for me, so I thought I’d give metal a try. I worked on the floor for a year before Mike came down and asked me if I wanted to do an apprenticeship. My response: “Yes please”.

  • Q. What made you choose Express Sheetmetals?

    A. We have a good family friend that works here, and so he helped me get an interview with Mike.

  • Q. Tell me more about the apprenticeship. How is practical and theory broken down?

    A. I began at age 17 and will be finished soon. It runs for 4 years. We learn everything by starting off with the basics, basic welding training and how to use all the high tech machines. From there it just advances to more challenging work, welding, and CNC plasma cutting.

    I do night school once a week, and then once a year we do a two-week block course at MIT. The once a year two-week block course is mainly welding. The night class is 2 hours per night once per week, and here we do our studying. The program runs through Competenz at MIT (Manukau Institute of Technology) – 3 years at the school and one year is on the job training. I’m on my last year at MIT.

  • Q. Express Sheetmetals is passionate about training and supporting Kiwi’s to bring their skills up to grade. How have you found your training?

    A. It’s been good. Like anything, it has its ups and downs, and I get stuck, but when I ask for help the guys are forthcoming.

    We have our MIT bookwork and Competenz gives us more workbooks that we complete in the workshop. Mike gets all the apprentices up here and talks through it with all of us then sends us down to do a couple jobs. You have to get it all signed off. It’s all very organized.

  • Q. What’s your favourite part of the job?

    A. Welding and machining all the metal.

  • Q. Would you recommend Express Sheetmetals to anyone considering the trade?

    A. Yes. It’s a great start!