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PrintNZ award winners and next finalists announced

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

PrintNZ Apprentice of the Year Sector Winners have been revealed and the Print Diploma Student of the Year named, while finalists have been announced for two pending training awards.

The Apprentice of the Year Sector Winners - whom automatically qualify for the overall PrintNZ Apprentice of the Year Award, to be presented at the Pride In Print Awards Evening at Wellington’s TSB Arena on May 3 - entail:

- BJ Ball Papers Packaging Apprentice of the Year - Sanjay Daji (Stratex, Auckland)

- Trust4Skills Reelfed Apprentice of the Year - Joshua Crawford (Stuff, Wellington)

- Print Finishers’ Association Binding And Finishing Apprentice of the Year - Tania Westbury (Inkwise, Christchurch)

- Heidelberg Digital Apprentice of the Year (Joint) - Hayley Young (James Print, Greymouth) and Sarah Knight (The Big Picture, Wellington)

Competenz Print Diploma Student of the Year is:

- Clinton O’Loughlin (Custom Cutting Formes, Christchurch)

Finalists in the training awards - which will also be presented at Pride In Print - are:

- Trainer of the Year - Ross Craig (Jenkins Freshpac Systems, Tauranga) and Tony Reid (Ovato, Auckland)

- Training Company of the Year - Gallagher Group (Hamilton), Jenkins Freshpac Systems (Tauranga) and Ovato (Auckland)

Sanjay Daji

Stratex print manager Ross Halliday - whose firm won the Apprentice of the Year Award through Sione Tonga in 2016 - says Mr Daji "makes my job a lot easier".

"I have found right from day one that he has the kind of attitude that you want to see," says Mr Halliday.

"He manages to hit his key performance indicator targets on a consistent basis and has found a good balance between work, study and family."

Adds Mr Daji: "I am very humbled and grateful to have been acknowledged and put forward for such an amazing award. I feel privileged to have been selected. It is never too late to pursue your dreams in life."

Joshua Crawford

Stuff Petone Print Centre production manager Hugh Taylor - whose organisation won the Reelfed Apprentice of the Year Award last year through Christchurch-based Jordan Godsiff - says there is "no doubt in my mind" Mr Crawford would be "an extremely-worthy winner".

"Josh has had some major changes in his life since he joined our print team and has come through some major challenges," says Mr Taylor.

"I have had the pleasure of watching him grow, not only from a print perspective, but also as a family man whilst completing his apprenticeship."

Mr Crawford says he is very appreciative of being offered the apprenticeship opportunity after initially joining the firm in a labouring capacity with its engineering team.

"I’m pretty stoked - getting qualified as fast as I did was awesome, but to be recognised and considered as Apprentice of the Year is unreal," he says.

"I want to thank the team at Stuff Petone for the time and effort you gave me in becoming a printer. To Ricky Baker and Hugh, thanks for giving me this opportunity, I’m truly grateful."

Tania Westbury

Raja Chakrabarti, a former manager of Ms Westbury’s, describes her as having an "insatiable appetite to learn".

"She was never afraid of getting her hands dirty or stepping forward to learn new equipment," he says.

"This very attitude towards work was the reason that she started off as a publishing assistant and finished up as the day publishing manager!"

Extremely grateful for the support of Mr Chakrabarti, Competenz, former employer Stuff and current employer Inkwise, Ms Westbury reflects on an achievement reached despite a number of serious relationship, family and employment challenges overcome along the way.

"I had no confidence in myself, no self esteem - now I am a strong independent women that can do anything I put my mind to," says Ms Westbury.

"One day someone might hear about all of my obstacles and be in that same position and feel like it is too much for them - but this may give them the push to do better for themselves."

Hayley Young

James Print production manager Tony Negri - whose firm had an Apprentice of the Year Finalist in Michelle Rigter in 2011 - says Ms Young has "really developed" over the past few years.

"She has become a well-rounded employee and is well respected by both fellow staff members, management and customers," he says.

"Her obvious creative talent has led to many repeat customer print jobs and we feel very privileged to have her in our employ."

Adds Ms Young: "I am totally surprised and amazed that my employer has such faith in me to enter. I am glad I persevered through the late-night studying to get to where I am now and this just makes it all the more worth it. I think that apprenticeships are such a good opportunity to find a job that you love and earn while you learn."

Sarah Knight

Ms Knight’s "willingness to learn and improve not only herself, but the company as a whole" has impressed The Big Picture director Christopher Lock, who adds that her apprenticeship has "really helped out" his firm.

"We had no health and safety systems in place until she did the papers," he says.

"We now have a completely online, bespoke system and signage that impressed not only the Competenz marker, but also the WorkSafe official who audited our premises."

Ms Knight admits that, once embarking upon her apprenticeship, also doing well in the annual PrintNZ Awards was a personal goal.

"So, put simply, I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured," says Ms Knight.

"I just want to say a big thank you to Competenz, PrintNZ and my team here at The Big Picture for their help and guidance through my studies."

Clinton O’Loughlin

Being named Print Diploma Student of the Year is deserved of the "commendable" commitment to the task shown by Mr O’Loughlin while raising a young family and coping with the "high demands" print industry work, says Custom Cutting Formes managing director Alan Pearce.

"My hearty congratulations to Clint on picking up this latest accolade in his career," says Mr Pearce.

"In my mind, Clint was always in the running for this award, having won Printing Apprentice of the Year 1997, his attention to detail and giving 110% effort to every endeavour he is involved in, is a recipe for success.

"Custom Cutting Formes has benefited from Clint’s Diploma involvement with a simple working production board system and also a waste management system."

Commencing at Custom Cutting Formes in 1994 and completing his apprenticeship three years later, Mr O’Loughlin says that technology within the industry and his role within the firm have evolved significantly over the past 25 years.

"I knew nothing about the industry when I started, but enjoyed the craft and skills required to make cutting formes," he says.

"Completing the Diploma has been a great achievement, involving a lot of late nights and hard work. Winning the award has been the icing on the cake.

"I plan to use the skills I have learned in my day-to-day role, including implementing some other procedures and processes that I have learnt about as I feel they will be beneficial - also being able to use the skills I’ve gained either in a management role or running my own business."

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