Inaugural Graduation Ceremony Warmly Received

Published: Fri 17 Apr 2015 08:44 PM
Inaugural Graduation Ceremony Warmly Received
A positive audience of over 50 people embraced the presentation of 32 medals at PrintNZ’s debut Apprentice Training Graduation Ceremony in Christchurch’s picturesque Cardboard Cathedral last night.
Following an impressive video illustration of the intricacies of print production in its numerous forms, PrintNZ general manager Ruth Cobb paid tribute to both the industry’s trainees and their supporters.
“We have always celebrated our top apprentices, but PrintNZ wanted to expand the celebrations to recognise everybody who had successfully completed a training programme in 2014,” said Ms Cobb.
“In addition to providing the trainees with a memento of their hard work, we are delighted to be able to do so with their families, friends and employers present.”
Recalling his own contrasting experience of having received an apprenticeship certificate in the mail, PrintNZ chairperson Dan Blackbourn urged attendees to further their commitment to training and to pursuing the Training Company of the Year and Trainer of the Year awards.
Orora Cartons’ Mathew Scott, who came down especially from Wellington for the event and to be presented with a prestigious Level 5 Print Diploma, said it had been a great experience.
“It is really good that this is being done -- it is a great recognition and I’ve completely looked forward to it,” he said.
In regards to his experiences of the training itself, Mr Scott said he had particularly enjoyed delving into aspects of quality management.
“ ... taking the next step further figuring out procedure and how things work, understanding what’s a bottleneck and where your backlogs are.”
Proud father and Orora Cartons New Zealand general manager Alan Scott praised his son for the “graft” put into achieving the qualification and light-heartedly described him as one of Orora’s developing team of multi-skilled “Seals”.
“He is now doing other training in customer service and sales and so could go in any direction within the company,” said Mr Scott Senior.
“Having a large company, I would like as many people as possible to go into the Diploma and I have managers currently doing it.”
Representing Drew Solakof -- who was overseas after completing Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications and being named as one of five finalists in the Apprentice of the Year Award -- EIL sign manager Jared Maxwell Smith welcomed the celebration.
“I was quite surprised to see how well organised it was,” he said.
“I literally got a piece of paper [for my apprenticeship] ... so to see this sort of thing with the trophies and the certificates is awesome.”
Mr Maxwell Smith said the event had also increased his own awareness of the industry training programmes available and confirmed that Mr Solakof was considering progressing his studies.
“He is talking about a Diploma in Print and we are training him up in production as well. He is definitely keen to move up the ladder and I’m a big believer in helping someone with their future -- I got the opportunity to do it and I want other people to be able to as well.”
Oamaru Print and Copy’s Sarah Baker, who travelled with her partner and a friend to receive her Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications and be named as one of 12 Apprentice of the Year semi-finalists, described the event as “awesome”.
Reflecting on her training to date, Ms Baker said the experience had been both “challenging and fun”.
“The highlights are when you get the results and do well,” she said.
“I’d been in the industry for several years and I thought I knew a lot, but then you start training and you realise how much you don’t know.”
Otago Daily Times Print’s Kayla Lockett, who similarly received Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications and was also named as a semi-finalist, said it had been “very exciting” to be acknowledged in front of her parents and workmates alike.
“It’s been great to share with everyone that I’ve actually done something,” said Ms Lockett.
Ms Lockett added that having previously gained experience in the design field, the training programmes had since widened her knowledge of the overall print industry and she was now considering undertaking a Management Diploma.
Father Kevin Dackers commented: “I am very impressed with tonight and to have medals. For me that is a big thing. Kayla has always been a quiet assassin, she plays down what she does, but when you talk to the people she works with and her boss, they rate her very highly.”
Added mother Lynley Dackers: “She has always kept me in the loop as to where she was at and I’ve thought that was huge. Both Kevin and I have done apprenticeships when we were younger and it is important that they know they have done well.”
Having received a Level 3 qualification, NZ Post’s Simon Black praised the structure of the training programme, noting that “everything was readily available”.
NZ Post production manager Marie Watson, whose Christchurch division is enrolling all of its employees in industry training programmes, praised PrintNZ for hosting the event and providing recognition to those trainees.
Added NZ Post team manager Steve Hooper: “Now that we know about it, it will grow. The first thing we have talked about is that we want our company to be one of the Training Company of the Year finalists. Hopefully we will have 30-40 people here next year.”
Orora Cartons’ Heidi Richards also welcomed the opportunity to celebrate her Level 2 qualification amongst colleagues and confirmed she had already embarked upon Level 3 training.
Having celebrated Ms Richards’ achievement and those of others in his team , Orora Cartons operations manager Nigel Harrison added that his company would be continuing its long-term commitment to industry training programmes.
“We give everyone a chance to do Level 2 when they come into the business,” he said.
“If that works out we put them on a Level 3 and if they show some aspiration we put them onto a Level 4 and further. We have always been a big supporter.”
Central Auckland’s Heritage Hotel will play host to the second PrintNZ Apprentice Training Graduation Ceremony on April 22.
The five Apprentice of the Year Finalists will be brought onto stage and the ultimate winner announced on Pride In Print Awards night at Wellington’s TSB Arena on May 1.

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