Cameron takes the prize

By Erika Venter


Stratford engineering apprentice Cameron Grierson was named winner of the National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering Fitting & Machining category at the Taranaki Engineering Consortium's 2012 apprentice awards held in New Plymouth.

The 22-year-old is elated by his win, but says he keeps an open mind when it comes to his future.

"My aspiration is to one day own my own business," he says, adding that he does not yet know what type of business, but that his training will come in good stead.

"This [his training] covers pretty much everything - design, build, why it broke down in the first place..." says Cameron's dad and mentor, Geoff.

Geoff adds that Cameron's future would most likely involve motorcycles - Cameron's interest in bikes is what sparked his interest in mechanical engineering when at Stratford High School.

"I am getting interested in building my own bikes, but it is just a hobby right how."

Geoff and Robyn started Stratford Engineering when Cameron was just five months old with Cameron growing up doing "bits and pieces" in the engineering shop.

"I have always been around it. It was never my intention though to work here. I just grew into it."

Son and dad had built a few air-powered engines together, a marine gearbox, and a go-cart, which Cameron paddock-crashed at their Ngaere farmlet.

Cameron did a year at university studying mechanical engineering, but then decided that he is more a hands-on type of bloke.

Mum Robyn says they are very proud parents, but that they had never pressured Cameron to take over the reins. Cameron's sibling Erin (21) is studying in Auckland to become a zookeeper,

"There is still no pressure. We do not want him to be pushed," she says.

An ex tutor encouraged Cameron to enter the competition, which he did this year for the first time.

Cameron says he had not expected to place first, being in his second (of three) year of study and having competed against others in their third year or who have finished their studies.

"I did not know what to expect. It was just to have a go, really."

Dad Geoff says with pride that Cameron is a very good machinist and welder.

"He is a good all-rounder, steady worker and good with customers.

Cameron's modest reply: "I still have a lot to learn."

- Stratford Press

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