March 3, 2022

Seaview manufacturer stepping up to fill skill shortages

The notion ‘think big’ is entirely applicable to MJH Engineering. The steel fabrication company, based in Seaview, Lower Hutt houses industry-leading automated machinery, and some of New Zealand’s largest building construction projects can be attributed to its name.

Like many other industries across New Zealand at present, the manufacturing industry is struggling with a shortage of trained talent due to Covid-19 restrictions on immigration and current work levels

One Seaview based manufacturer is taking on this challenge proposing an innovative way to help young people into engineering.

MJHEngineering Ltd is one of New Zealand’s leading structural steel fabricators, specialising in the fabrication and installation of large-scale structural steel projects including industrial warehouses, commercial buildings, multi-storey tower-blocks, and seismic strengthening projects. Over the past couple of years, the company has grown in size due to its excellent track record of delivering top quality results and its reputation as one of the preferred steel subcontractors around town. 

Jeremy Mikoz, HR & Development Manager for MJH Engineering Ltd, says with the demand of projects comes the challenge of finding the right workers. 

“While there are private training enterprises out there, we’re finding in our industry that many students coming out of these institutions just aren’t receiving the training they need to be ‘job ready’. On top of that New Zealand is now in one of the worst labour shortages we have seen in the last 10 years which in turn puts more pressure on obtaining talent and solving our work-flow issues.”

Asa result, Mikoz says they have come up with a solution - the “MJH Welding School.” The school, based at MJH Engineering, would provide a 6-week full-time training course with qualifications to help young people learn on the job skills and theory in welding. At the end of this course, the young people would come out with Unit Standards, a welding qualification, and 240 hours of practical, industry-related training. To top it off MJH Engineering would guarantee the 6 young people with jobs at the end of their training programme.

MJH are now working on funding options to get the Welding School up and running.

“MJH are not expecting to run this work at a profit, but instead invest in the future of some young people to help them into sustainable employment. If anything, the cost to MJH will be substantial due to setting up a bespoke welding bay, equipment costs and taking senior staff off their projects to help train the students. 

However, we see this as a way forward to give back to the community and assist our industry with new thriving talent who may not ever have been aware of how to get into it.” 

When it comes to opportunities in the manufacturing and engineering industry in New Zealand, Mikoz doesn’t hold back.

“The opportunities for progression in this industry are huge. One prime example is one of our senior project managers who started sweeping the floors for us as a17-year-old school leaver. After receiving on the job training, he moved into a welding position, got his apprenticeship, became a tradesman, then worked his way up to a supervisor role. He became a key player in the day-to-day running of the workshop, managing projects between $500,000 and $3 million. In just over a decade, he is now in one of the highest roles at MJH and thriving. The opportunities are there for the people who decide to take them.”

For more information on MJH Engineering visit -