The prize of an annual apprentice award is a big boost for the young careers of graphic arts workers.Contacting the branch award winners for the annual PrintNZ Training Apprentice Awards is one of the highlights of the job for the PrintNZ Training team. The 2008 branch award winners, announced last month, were delighted to hear of their win, with many completely surprised to hear the news.
From a pool of over 100 apprentices and trainees who completed training in 2007, branch finalists were selected and further information was sought from employers to help select the winners. This added to the wide range of information held by PrintNZ Training on each finalist, including workshop reports, correspondence marks, workplace assessor comments and Training Liaison Officer feedback.
The branch award winners will receive their certificate and prize in front of family, employers, industry members and sponsors at the PrintNZ Training Apprentice Awards Breakfast on Friday 16 May 2008. The PrintNZ Training Apprentice Awards Breakfast is highly regarded within the print industry as a fantastic means of celebrating the achievements of our top apprentices and trainee. The branch award winners, excluding the National Certificate Trainee, are now in the running for the ultimate print industry training award - Apprentice of the Year, proudly sponsored by Agfa NZ, BJ Ball Papers and Kodak.
The six Apprentice of the Year finalists will attend an interview before the winner is announced at the Pride In Print Awards on May 16. Looking at this year’s award winners, it is interesting to note their varied ages, backgrounds and industry experiences so far.
Binding & Finishing Award winner, Orlando Akaata of GEON BFG in Wellington, started his career as a general hand before being offered an apprenticeship.
“What I enjoy most about my job is when it gets really busy, there is a lot of pressure put on the workers to get the job done. This is when I do my best work. I was quite surprised and shocked to hear I had won this award – it is really awesome.”
Brendon Evans is the winner of the Digital Processes for Print Award (previously known as the Graphic Pre-Press Award).
Brendon says he always been interested in graphic design and finds working in prepress a fascinating career, especially with the many challenges and variables involved.
“Joy, excitement and satisfaction would only begin to scratch the surface of how I'm feeling about winning this award. Seeing the look on my bosses face was a moment to remember.”
Paperboard Packaging award winner, Brent Martin of Ryco Dies, never dreamed that he would be in this position.
Brent really enjoys the challenges of his job, especially when he is working with a new customer design. One of his greatest challenges was learning how to program a job from start to finish, which involves many steps.
“Winning this award has made me feel proud of myself and it has given me the confidence to take on and succeed in new challenges.”
Martin Wilson of Tecpak Industries in Dunedin is this year's Screen Award winner. Martin started his career in the print industry after working at Sealords for 17 years. He saw an ad in the paper for a trainee setter and the rest is history.
“I think my biggest challenge so far has been coming in and learning the techniques. To come from knowing nothing about the industry to winning this award is mind blowing.”
Kieran Dale of Logick Print & Graphics in Auckland has already won a bronze medal at the WorldSkills trade competition in 2007 and has now taken out the Sheet-fed Award.
Kieran was introduced to the industry by a family friend and he really enjoys the challenges and variety that the job brings.
“One of my greatest challenges was when I moved from the single colour press to the four colour, with limited knowledge and experience. I feel very honoured to have been chosen for this award. I am also excited about the possibilities and opportunities that this will bring to me.”
Reel-fed Award winner, Richard Hughes of APN Print in Wanganui, is “absolutely stoked” about his win. Richard achieved 12 excellent assignment results out of 17 during his reel-fed apprenticeship.
Richard says he worked hard to get good results for his assignments although he never expected to achieve this result.
“I am over the moon! I am extremely grateful to my work colleagues, assessors and supervisors for all their efforts over the last three years.”
The National Certificate Trainee Award recognises the efforts of trainees who have completed Level 2 programmes in the industry. This year's winner is Vishal Maisuria from Sealed Air (NZ) in Porirua.
Vishal began his career after immigrating to New Zealand from India and being told about a job at Sealed Air. Vishal says he most enjoys working with the people in his workplace and continually learning new things.
“My greatest challenge has been having English as a second language. Especially understanding how things are written and answering in English ways. I have never won anything before, ever. My family is very proud of me.”
The Author: Alicia Lambert