A family affair at FPS

Like father, like son is the case for Braden Gray, who is following in his engineer father Chris Gray’s footsteps working as an apprentice at FPS.

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Like father, like son is the case for Braden Gray, who is following in his engineer father Chris Gray’s footsteps working as an apprentice at FPS.

Straight out of Waimea College last year, the 17-year-old started working a 40-hour week at FPS and began his formal apprenticeship through NMIT in January.

FPS’s Sales Manager Chris says for as long as he can remember, Braden has always been interested in how things work from a technical point of view. “He likes tinkering away in the garage at home – fixing up the engine on his bike for motorcross, that kind of thing. He has his own workshop at home in the garage next to mine.”

Chris reckons FPS is the perfect place for Braden to start his career as the company provides a broad range of engineering services: “It’s a great opportunity for Braden to find out what he enjoys and what he’s good at. From basic welding and fabrication work to machining parts in a lathe or a mill as well as pneumatic and hydraulic engineering, it’s all done in-house at FPS.”

Braden isn’t fazed by the transition from school into full-time employment, having worked at FPS during the school holidays for the last three years. “The main change from school is that now I get to learn stuff that I actually like. I’ve always been set on being an engineer of some kind,” he says.

While most new apprentices would only be accepted at FPS after completing a one-year pre-apprenticeship course through polytech, FPS Director Gary Allen says Braden has proven he is already work-ready.

“We’ve gotten to know Braden well over the last few years. He’s a talented young guy who fits well with the team. At FPS, we feel it’s important to support young engineers in the making to ensure the industry is well resourced in the future. We look forward to supporting Braden and seeing how he develops over the next three years.”

Chris says he’s proud of what Braden has achieved. “Everyone knows that he is capable – he’s proven himself over the last few years and he’s got here on his own merit.”