Shipyard and boat building company McMullen & Wing has a global reputation for quality and innovation. The go-to experts for both refit and new construction, they specialise in everything from superyachts and recreational boats, to fishing trawlers and ferries.

Not surprisingly securing quality staff is a top priority – the work is complex, technical, and requires a highly-skilled team. Three of the company’s newest recruits are from NZ Welding School, and according to McMullen & Wing Resources Manager Phil Allen, they’ve all hit the ground running.

“All three have been with the company for around four months and we are really happy with them,” says Phil.

“Not only did they come in with the base knowledge and skills that we need, but they also get on well with the other staff, have good timekeeping skills and are reliable.”

Ekueni Purcell, Bailley Te Whaiti and Bryan Hape-Woodmass are currently putting their skills to the test working on the new build of an aluminium mussel factory vessel. For welder Ekueni it’s a golden opportunity to take his expertise to the next level.

“My goal is to be an expert in my field and learn from the best in the business,” says Ekueni.

“Working at McMullen & Wing is great. I’m constantly moving around, doing different tasks every day. It’s not desk-bound work and it inspires me to become an awesome welder.”

McMullen & Wing was established over 50 years ago as a traditional boat building company, building pleasure craft in steel, aluminium, wood and composite. Over the past 20 years the company has built increasingly larger superyachts, the most recent 50 metres long. More recently the yard branched into new build and maintenance of commercial vessels and workboats. Their craftmanship is in demand not just in New Zealand, but all over the world.

Securing a boat building apprenticeship with such a highly-regarded company would be a dream come true for Bailley.

“When I started at NZ Welding School I wanted to become a boilermaker or a boat builder, so when I got hit up for this I went straight over,” says Bailley.

“Being in line for an apprenticeship here is great. I can learn more while I am working and I’m always doing something different.”

For former classmate and father of five Bryan, landing a job as a welder for McMullen & Wing has also brought big benefits.

“I’ve got five kids so I wanted to get on a career path. There are heaps of opportunities here,” he says.

The skills Bryan learnt at NZ Welding School have prepared him well for the challenges of working for such a trailblazing company.

“Studying at NZ Welding School teaches you everything you need to know. The tutors there have been welding for 15 years plus. There are old men there who have been welding all their lives! It helps heaps when it comes to starting your career.”