Q & A with Floveyor’s Apprentice Sheet Metal Fabricator Alana Opdenakker

We’re very proud of our Alana Opdenakker who was a 2017 finalist for Apprentice of the Year at the South Metropolitan TAFE Awards. Alana is a highly valued member of the Floveyor family. We admire her dynamism, technical proficiency and excellent work ethic.

What attracted you to Floveyor?

“After completing my pre-apprentice training in 2014, I researched heaps of companies. I was looking for exciting, challenging opportunities and a great workplace culture. Floveyor was the perfect fit. Soon after I approached Rhys, he offered me work experience and subsequently a permanent place on his team.

Creativity, innovation, and design excellence are really important to me. Floveyor delivers on all these fronts. Our elegant, technically advanced conveyors make us world leaders in the competitive materials handling equipment industry. I love being part of the team that produces such brilliant machines. I’m a bit of a perfectionist who never settles for anything but the best, and Floveyor values this quality.

When I started here, the team couldn’t have been more welcoming. Rhys and his dad Richard both came to the awards ceremony last week. Having such supportive managers is really special.”

What drew you to a career in sheet metal fabrication?

“I have an Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design and Technology. However, job prospects in fashion weren’t really promising. Then I remembered how much I’d enjoyed welding at school so I decided to retrain.

In fact, there are lots of similarities in the patternmaking and design aspects in both fields.”

Clearly you excel at your job – why is that?

“I’m a creative person with an obsessive eye for detail. I draw and paint and write and I love making beautiful things that perform superbly.

When I’m not helping to build amazing Floveyors I design and make furniture and sculptures. I’m someone who constantly needs new creative challenges and the chance to solve interesting technical problems. At Floveyor it’s all about inventiveness and excellence in everything we do. It’s easy to feel inspired and energised every day and to strive to exceed my own and other’s expectations.”

What are your long term goals?

“I plan to refine and extend my welding skills and to learn everything there is to learn at Floveyor. A family tragedy has made me passionate about workplace health and safety and I may train and teach in this field in the future. As an artist, I’m also keen to provide the world with beautiful outdoor art pieces made of recycled metal.”