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Large intake of apprentices for Gough Group

February 1 2013

PRESS RELEASE (strictly embargoed until 12 noon, Feb 1).

Large intake of apprentices for Gough Group

One of the largest employers nationally of heavy automotive apprentices, the Gough Group this week launched its 2013 apprentice intake.

Fifteen new apprentices have been involved in a two-week induction course at Gough Group headquarters in Christchurch ahead of theirfour-year apprenticeship in branches throughout New Zealand.

The 2013 intake – engineering apprentices and heavy diesel apprentices – will be working for the next 12 months with Gough Engineering, Gough Cat and Gough Material Handling divisions around the country.

The Group, which employs up to 70 heavy automotive apprentices at any given time throughout its nationwide network, annually attracts hundreds of hopefuls for its apprenticeships.

“We increased the minimum requirements for apprenticeships this year, and still attracted 280 applicants for the 15 places available. They were all high calibre candidates, and this year’s intake is up there with the best we’ve ever had,” said Adam Lyon, Manager Gough Institute of Training.

“We’ve always taken on our full capacity of apprentices, knowing that they can be effectively employed within our Group. The earthquakes have made no difference in that respect.”

Apart from one or two school leavers, the majority of the group is in its early to mid-20s.

Karl Smith, Chief Executive of the Gough Group said the company was committed to recruiting and training the very best young people for the job and proud to be leading the way.

“Careers in heavy industry are exciting, and vital for New Zealand, and the qualifications these young people are working towards are a passport to the world. It is not just to work on the Caterpillar heavy equipment, which is our specialty field, but also Hyster forklifts, power generators, and diesel engines for the likes of super yachts.”

The fortnight’s induction at the Gough Training Institute allows the new apprentices to gain their OSH forklift operating certificate, and their wheels, tracks, rollers and forklift endorsement for their driver’s licence. It provides training for gantry and truck mounted crane operation. All Automotive Heavy apprentices are signed up with the Motor Industry Training Organisation (MITO) and all Engineering apprentices are signed up with Competenz for their qualifications.

The induction covers all aspects of company policies including Health and Safety, machine movement and all information to give the apprentice the best possible start in their new career.

As Gough apprentices they receive specialist ‘hands-on” training in the company’s workshops and on specialist in house training courses, have access to interest free tool loans, and have their travel, accommodation, meals and uniforms supplied by the company.

Throughout their apprenticeship, the apprentices will engage on both practical and theoretical training – the practical while working with fully qualified servicemen, the theory through block courses held through Polytechnics. In addition to this they will also attend a number of specialised internal Caterpillar systems training.

Not only does the Gough Training Institute provide support to its apprentice mechanics, but the full time training department also gives ongoing support to customers and staff at all levels within the Gough Group.


The Gough Group is a diverse business made up of 10 trading divisions representing premium international brands. The Group started life in 1929 as Gough Gough and Hamer Limited, acquired the New Zealand Caterpillar dealership in 1932,Hyster in 1945, Palfinger New Zealand in 1992, and Palfinger Australia in 2010. As a privately owned New Zealand company, the Gough Group draws on a rich heritage stretching back over 80 years.

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