Grant winner keen to start work

HAMISH CARDWELL
Last updated 07:08 14/12/2012
Matthew Vincent
Scott Hammond

Prize winner: Blenheim man Matthew Vincent has won the inaugural $1000 engineering scholarship from wine bottling company WineWorks. Behind him are WineWorks employees, from left, Andrew Marshall, Peter Crowen and Michael Ford. NMIT programme area leader David White is in the yellow vest at rear.

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Blenheim man Matthew Vincent topped his engineering class and yesterday received a $1000 scholarship towards further study - now all he needs is a job.

The 19-year-old was the inaugural winner of an engineering scholarship from wine bottling company WineWorks.

He has just completed a one-year pre-apprenticeship mechanical engineering course at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) in Nelson.

WineWorks Marlborough production engineer Michael Ford said the company decided to give out the scholarship to provide an incentive for young people to study engineering and get experience specific to the wine industry.

"It is hard to find experienced engineers in this field."

The work required a broad range of skills, from fixing breakdowns on the production line, manufacturing components for machinery and devising methods to enhance productivity.

The firm wanted to take on some NMIT students for work experience next year as well as offering the scholarship, said Mr Ford.

Mr Vincent said he decided to get into engineering after enjoying his technology classes at Marlborough Boys' College.

"The course is a good mix of practical and theory. I enjoyed it."

He said he was pleased to have received the scholarship.

"It was good that the money is going on my student loan because I would have spent it," he said.

Mr Vincent's next step was to find a firm that wanted to take him on as an apprentice.

"Any prospective employers out there should get in touch," he said.

NMIT programme area leader David White said it was important for future engineers that industry acknowledged them.

"There are a few [industry] scholarships around that are generic for the trades but WineWorks' scholarship is good because it is targeted," he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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