Three young furniture makers from Auckland are vying for one of the top titles in the wood industry's National Training Awards run by FITEC, the forest and wood industry training organisation.
The three candidates competing for the title of Furniture Trainee of the Year are Eric Abbott and Matthew English, both from Danske Mobler, and James David from Molloy Wood Turning.
"The calibre of this year's entries has been exceptionally high," says FITEC Chief Executive Ian Boyd. "All three pieces of furniture demonstrate innovative design, exceptional skills and a unique use of materials. It will be a close competition and a real challenge for the judges to determine the overall winner."
The award entries are on display at the Danske Mobler showroom in Mt Eden (983 Mt Eden Road, Auckland) until 28 August.
The Furniture Trainee of the Year winner will be announced along with the winners of ten other categories at the FITEC National Training Awards in Rotorua on 7 September 2011.
The annual awards showcase outstanding candidates and companies operating in New Zealand's multi-billion-dollar forest and wood industry.
The finalists have been handpicked from around 7,000 trainees within the broader forest and wood manufacturing sector, an industry which consists of 20,000 employees in total.
"Our finalists have come from all corners of the country," says Ian. "We have people from small operations and larger businesses from within the forestry, sawmilling, furniture, wood panels and pulp and paper sectors. New Zealand's wood industry is dynamic and diverse and contributes to annual earnings throughout the industry sector of around $3.7 billion.
"For many of our finalists - it is a huge feat getting this far," he says. "They have achieved qualifications while working. This is a real challenge but the outcome is great for their careers and for raising skill levels within the industry."
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