Tue, Jun 14, 2022 6:00 AM

Young people future of the industry


Sara Hollyman

For Lenny Payne, the thing he enjoys most about his job is getting out of the workshop and heading to farms across the Top of the South to put his trade to use.

Lenny has just completed his Level 4 motorcycle engineer qualification, joining nine other qualified mechanics at Filco Farm and Sport.

For Lenny the journey wasn’t easy, two lockdowns and a switch from paper-based to electronic learning meant he was fielding curveballs from different angles as well as simply ‘being a young fellah’, but last month he crossed the line and completed his qualification.

“It feels really good to get it done, it was a bit of a struggle, as all things are as a young fellah, but got it done,” Lenny says.

Determination and a supportive work environment helped see him along the road to becoming qualified.

Filco Farm and Sport owner Dave Filer says seeing young guys coming through and completing a qualification in a hands-on trade is something that’s increasingly rare. He says they have always put a big focus on training.

“These guys are the future of the industry, and the industry relies on young people getting qualifications to give service to our customers, and without service we are nothing,” Dave says.

As part of the Filco team Lenny covers a huge area as part of their off-site servicing. He travels anywhere between Springs Junction and Reefton through to Kaikoura.

Dave says going to farms in remote areas are what’s kept Filco running for 35 years.

“We’ve got some customers that I started with in 1987 that we are now into fourth generation of family, which is incredible.”

Lenny was just five years old when he started tagging along to the local A&P shows with his dad Rod, who has been a member of the Filco mechanic team for 21 years.
Hanging around the Filco trade displays, motorcycles were arguably in Lenny’s blood.

“He always said he was going to come and work here and so to see him qualify now, it’s a privilege really,” Dave says.

MITO training advisor Paul Booth says Lenny’s achievement is something to be proud of.

“He’s done really well, he’s done a lot of work.”

Lenny wants to spend the immediate future getting some more knowledge under his belt before seeing where the trade takes him.

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