Waikato apprentices bring home medals
Waikato tradespeople proved they’re at the top of their game at the WorldSkills New Zealand National Finals held in
Christchurch last month.
The two-day competition saw young apprentices from across the country battle it out in 15 different skill categories
such as automotive, carpentry, joinery and plumbing, to show off their trade knowledge and expertise.
The Wintec-sponsored Waikato regional team gained the highest aggregate score at the event and individual team members
brought home seven medals. Four of the Waikato winners are Wintec graduates – Leo Voorend, Reece David, Leon Balvert and
David McDougall, Wintec’s Head of School of Trades, said: “It’s a great result for the Waikato team and shows that our
region is producing graduates and apprentices with top-notch trades skills. We’re really proud to support an event like
this that highlights and celebrates success and excellence in trades.”
In a further coup for the Waikato, Wintec will host the 2014 WorldSkills New Zealand National Finals at its Rotokauri
campus in north Hamilton.
The WorldSkills competition focus is on-the-job excellence by putting competitors through a demanding set of tasks
relevant to their trade.
Leo Voorend, a first year apprentice at Stainless Design in Hamilton, won bronze in the Sheet Metal Technology category
at the WorldSkills New Zealand National Finals.
His manager at Stainless Design, and Waikato WorldSkills team leader Scott Pritchard, said “We’re thrilled for Leo and
the Waikato team. The WorldSkills event plays an important role in showcasing and developing excellence in industry.
Taking part in competitions like this enhance our apprentice’s confidence and skills and in turn strengthens our
business. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
As well as sponsoring the Waikato team, four Wintec staff members are on the WorldSkills Waikato committee – David
McDougall, Roland Spirig, Craig Cameron and Gary McCormick. Roland Spirig is also a judge in the international
Waikato region medal winners
Reece Gerrits Sheet Metal Technology Gold
Andrew Heath Bricklaying Gold
Mark Strange Fitting & Machining Gold
David Fox Autobody Repair Silver
Leon Balvert Automotive Technology Bronze
Reece David Automotive Refinishing Bronze
Leo Voorend Sheet Metal Technology Bronze