As a child, Taswell Brown used to dream of building a ship. Today he is a qualified boilermaker permanently employed at Pan Mix South Africa, Africa’s largest manufacturer of block and paving machinery, mixers and kerb stone machinery. Servicing local and international clients with their latest technological advances in product development, Taswell gets to use his expertise to participate in new product development projects.
With confidence born of years of experience in his chosen field, Taswell knows that, with motivation, perseverance and the right support, dreams do come true.
He didn’t singlehandedly build the ship of his dreams, but before his placement at Pan Mix South Africa, he completed an employment contract with Nautic Africa, where he got to apply his skills to shipbuilding. Before that, he acquired the majority of his work-integrated learning at Topsteel, a leader in steel and sheet metal manufacturing and later CFW, an industrial fan manufacturer.
It wasn’t always easy, especially finding employment in a slow economy worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. There were times when he was near to giving up his studies, but he says the motivation and support received from his lecturer, Ms Lee-Anne Andrews, helped him to persevere. After completing his qualification in 2015, Taswell first spent four years gaining industry experience before he felt he was ready to take the trade test.
Although the work is physically demanding, Taswell enjoys working with his hands. He constantly pushes himself to try new techniques that will advance his skills and abilities as a boilermaker. It’s a rewarding career, especially if you’re someone who takes pride in perfection even if it is in contributing to one component of a much larger manufacturing project.
According to Taswell, who clearly loves what he does, artisans should not underestimate the value of what their skills contribute to the success of the end product.
He says he’ll always appreciate the extra support he received from False Bay TVET College during his studies, and recommends that anyone wishing to acquire a College qualification consider False Bay, where they will have access to all the resources and support they’d need to ensure success.
A family man, Taswell hopes to be permanently employed soon and to fulfil a new dream – to help his mom move to a better neighbourhood.