Ambition, education and application: Those are things that Brian Godfrey, Canterbury regional manager of the biggest concrete producer in the country, values in an employee.
So when one of them, based at the Christchurch branch of Allied Concrete, mentioned to him that he'd like to get an engineering degree, Godfrey gave his full support.
"We took him on as a concrete cadet to bring him into the industry as a manager of the future and we supported him without hesitation while he was trying to figure out what to do with his life."
That cadet was CPIT Bachelor of Engineering and Technology graduate Stuart Jackson, who continued to work at the plant on flexible hours while he was studying between 2012 and 2014.
Engineering graduate Stuart Jackson has a solid career in concrete production.
Twenty-five year old Jackson, who left a university course in mechanical engineering after only a year because he wasn't sure if it was what he wanted to do, has proven to be a solid investment for Godfrey and Allied Concrete.
With engineering degree in hand, Jackson re-joined the company last year as a full time employee. He soon stepped into a prestigious role as operations manager, supplying concrete to a range of projects including the Christchurch central city rebuild.
"The skills he's gained fit in with the direction of the company, and give him another three or four years, he'll grow and develop into a national operations role," Godfrey says. "He's a good thinker and great at managing people, so he's got the personality to do that."
Gaining a mechanical engineering qualification became a must-have for Jackson if he was to realise his ambitions.
"I decided if I didn't get a degree I'd always be at the bottom rung, and I needed to show that I had what it takes to get a degree."
It's the engineering behind a concrete plant that interests Jackson the most. His dream is to design a concrete plant and be involved in every aspect, from implementation and project management to the fitting-out. He would like to work in a hurricane-prone Pacific Island community.
"This is a real passion of mine, to work in a country where they don't have access to solid building materials, but that's further down the track."
Godfrey says he would support him all the way – and all the way back, if he chose to return to New Zealand and share his knowledge and experience. "I'd really like to see him grow within the business. I believe he has a good future."
Find out more about studying Engineering at CPIT.