Meet Chris – Team Leader & Primary Industry ChampionOn October 14, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
I’ve learnt an industry I knew nothing about for starters. I was looking for a job and saw an ad in the paper for an apprentice quality assurance technician. I applied for that and was lucky enough to get it. I’ve done plenty of book work that’s based around panel manufacturing and what we do here, as well as a business management certificate. Also, with the other training I’ve been to most of our other mills. I’ve been to Australia, I’ve been to Rotorua – right around New Zealand basically looking at other mills. It’s not difficult to progress, as long as you’re keen and you want to work and you can show up. Especially young people, there’s a lot of older people in the industry at the moment, so for young people that are keen there’s a lot of opportunity. Biggest challenge is really, firstly dealing with staff and learning how to react and deal with different people. And secondly, I guess is that I continue to push myself and that I take all the challenges and opportunities that are given to me. Most days I come in and I find something interesting or new about my job. I’m learning every day. It hasn’t got to a point where I’m coming in doing the same routine day in and day out. I guess in a big place like this that doesn’t happen. There’s something happening every day, every hour. So it keeps you on your toes and work always feels exciting. We have an information meeting with the team leaders every morning and that’s probably one of my favourite parts of the day because you get to hear what’s going on everywhere else around the mill so you get the big picture. They’ve given me the opportunity to progress and do what I want. A couple of times I’ve asked if I can do certain papers or certain book work and they’ve offered it to me. And then several times, Paul, the mill manager, has come and offered me the chance to go somewhere and look at something in particular, or just even listen in on meetings. They’re very proactive in terms of letting us understand the process and get right involved. They don’t limit you, it’s sort of you that can hold yourself back really.