It seems Ashton Fleming has a penchant for something that puts most people on edge - the sound of grinding metal.

The young fitting and machining apprentice sports a passion for stock car racing, as well as almost anything else to do with machines.Taking up a metal-related trade must have been an easy choice. "I've always been interested in metalwork and working with steel. Over the past two years I've learnt all sorts of skills - pretty much every manual machine in the machine shop, I know how to operate."

Her apprenticeship at Hayes International, a manufacturer based in Rotorua, gave her the opportunity to develop some highly useful skills to further her other passion.

"I race stock cars, so learning how to use machines is really helpful in making bits for that."

The opportunity to work with what she loves on a daily basis has given her no regrets.

"When I look back at my decision to become an apprentice, I am definitely happy that I did it. There's nothing else I would rather be doing. It's a lot of fun and really interesting work."

You might also be interested in