WRITTEN BY BARBARA GILLHAM
This is the fourth article of our "Keep Employing Youth (KEY)" series, highlighting the value of youth employees in the Tararua District.
Local Dannevirke business Martin Beveridge Ltd has no shortage of loyal employees, who have nothing but praise for the people they work for, and the opportunities they have been given.
The business has always had a strong commitment to investing in the local community, and this is apparent when you learn that since it began, more than 50 people have done their apprenticeships with them.
Sam Jones, Daryl Withey and Helaman Kingi are just three people who are grateful for the chance they were given when they were offered apprenticeships, and say the support and encouragement they have received has been great.
Sam and Helaman have just recently completed their apprenticeships and plan on staying with the company for the foreseeable future. Neither have any plans to leave.
"I’m enjoying it," says Sam, "I’ve had a lot of support from everyone at work, it’s a great crew here and the boss is just great."
"When I left school all I wanted to do was get an apprenticeship and learn a trade. Dad spotted Martin Beveridge in the street, and asked if there were any jobs going. I ended up coming down to meet him and I got the job. I’m glad the apprenticeship is over, now I can focus on saving some money and maybe buying a house one day here in Dannevirke. It’s a really good company to work for."
Helaman feels the same and says he came to the company as soon as he finished school.
"I was offered a job during the holidays and then Martin offered me a fulltime job. I did that for about a year and then left, but a year later I was back. I was lucky, I got a second chance to do my apprenticeship and I took it. I’ve just finished it and I am so glad I did it. They look after you here, there’s a real family feel about the place."
While Sam and Helaman, who are both in their twenties, have now finished their apprenticeships, Daryl proves that age is not a barrier if you still want to train, certainly not with this company.
At 46, Daryl is the oldest apprentice and laughingly says, the young guys are always reminding him of it.
Having done a number of jobs including painting in the past, Daryl says he had never done any formal training.
"I’d just finished off a season at Takapau when Raymond Beveridge, who I’d done some work for in the past, rang me and asked if I had any spare time to do some more. He ended up offering me a fulltime job and suggested that I do an apprenticeship and get all my paperwork done.
"It’s good working here and I’m learning a lot. This is my second year and I’ll stay with the company when I’m finished."