Design on engineering jobs

ROSE CAWLEY
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2013
Paul Ngui
ROSE CAWLEY
ENGINEERING PASSION: Mechanical engineer Paul Ngui, 24, is volunteering with Futureintech to help to guide high school students into the engineering industry.

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One young engineer is hoping to return to his former high school to promote engineering as a career choice.

Paul Ngui is volunteering with the government-funded Futurintech. It is an initiative that uses recent graduates to promote and guide high school students into careers in engineering, technology and science.

Last year national attention was placed on the engineering industry and the need to channel high school students into the profession.

This culminated with Tertiary Education Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce announcing 1000 more engineering places would be available at universities and institutes of technology in 2013.

When the academic year kicks off high schools and students in the eastern suburbs will be paired with mentors who help with the project pupils are tackling.

Mr Ngui has worked at Fisher and Paykel Appliances since graduating from Auckland University with a degree in mechanical engineering two years ago.

The Pakuranga resident says that although he knew he wanted to be an engineer he didn't know that much about the industry. So when the opportunity to volunteer came up, he jumped at it.

"Everyone knows what cops and doctors do but if you ask what an engineer does they would probably have no idea. And to be fair I didn't know that much about engineering - I was a bit blind when I went into it at university. It was one of those things where you work it out on the way - do I like this or do I not?"

But he "can't complain" as it turned out well in the end.

The 24-year-old is looking forward to being back in a high school classroom for the first time since he graduated from Macleans College in 2006.

"It is always cool to see what ideas other people think up."

He says the knowledge and understanding the students will gain from an industry mentor will be key to their futures.

"It gives them a first-hand account from someone who has been there and done it. There is a lot of demand, everyone needs engineers, you can't build anything without us."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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