Fri 1 Dec 2017

Dawid's unplugged and seated

When Dawid Malan was asked to make a piece of furniture as part of the coursework for a New Zealand certificate in mechanical engineering level 3 it was music to his ears.

Dawid used all the knowledge the course has taught him since February by designing and fabricating a guitar stool which features a hanger for the instrument and a footplate.

It so impressed tutor Mark Hudson that he suggested WITT News come and have a look.

"It is high-quality craftsmanship," said Mark.

"He pushed himself. The design was complex and Dawid had to have help from a tutor to make tooling to get the bends he wanted – and he also went out and bought the material for the seating and spray paint."

Dawid is equally pleased with the finished product, which he will be keeping.

He is hoping to pick up an apprenticeship in 2018 and has applications with Fonterra and Methanex.

Dawid and his brother Arnaud both enrolled in February when WITT unveiled a new course which is a mix of mechanical engineering and fitting, welding and fabrication.

Both had been homeschooled, so did not have the required NCEA credits, but gained access through the Youth Guarantee scheme, an initiative which provides free two years’ full-time skills-based training for 16 to 19-year-olds.

The brothers came to New Zealand nine years ago when their parents emigrated from South Africa.

Mark Hudson says Dawid's projects illustrate what students can learn on the course which serves as a pre-trade for students progressing into the industry.

"It was run for the first time this year and we have 16 on the course at present and will be running it again in 2018," he said.

"It gives students a good understanding of engineering - a broad-based knowledge that can open a variety of doors for them.  This course superseded a welding course, and I like it because it doesn't pigeonhole graduates."

This is the final week for the course which Mark says has been a popular one with the students.

The students have gained a wide range of skills and completed projects such as a toolbox, air engine, outdoor oven and a vice.

The final project in the welding and fabrication department was to design and build a piece of furniture, and most went for a seat.        


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