Swug New Zealand has named Beacon Print Whakatane’s Taryn Gannaway its Apprentice of the Year

In a state of shock when she heard the announcement, Gannaway says, “Everything from there was a bit of a blur. I knew that I had given 100 per cent with my assignments and the entry for the award but I just didn’t know what I was up against.

“I always prepare myself for the worst outcome so that no matter what happens I’m not disappointed. Hence I was so shocked when they called my name. Being a female, I wasn’t sure if I stood much of a chance, but now after having attended the conference I realise that that outlook wasn’t correct and, in fact, everyone is very supportive of females in the print industry.”

Gannaway began her apprenticeship in Digital Print Processes in June 2015 and completed it early. She moved to Whakatane from the Waikato when she was nine and, at the age of 14, started working at Beacon Print as a hand collator three nights a week after school. After giving University a try, she returned to Whakatane and went to see general manager Brian Cornes for more casual work. He had other ideas.

She says, “He pushed me to go down to the Whakatane Beacon office and from there I became the classifieds typesetter. Shortly afterwards, I got offered an apprenticeship which I accepted. After about a year-and-a-half I went through a bit of life and work change and a few of my friends were going overseas to Europe so I decided to go with them.

“When I returned to New Zealand I went down to the Beacon building but there were no jobs going. However I bumped into Brian again and I needed a job asap so he got me into caregiving at a local rest-home where his wife works.

“I wasn’t there for long before he approached me and stole me back off his wife Upon my re-employment we agreed to start my apprenticeship again. My job had changed a lot from typesetting so we amended my papers to fit in with the workplace.

“I completed my final seven papers within one year, coming out of my time six months early. I got my final grade four weeks before the awards so have now finished.”

Cornes describes Gannaway as an asset to the business and praises her preparedness to work in all areas, such as strapping bundles off the press, feeding the inserter or the stitch and trim machine. He says, “Taryn is often called in outside normal hours, sometimes after 10.30pm and has been known to arrive in her PJs.”

John Spring, managing director of the Beacon Media Group, says, “Taryn is a great staff member and deserves the award. The Beacon has a good record with Matt Lowe winning back in 2010 and Taryn has continued the high standard required to become Apprentice of the Year.”

DS Chemport generously sponsors the Swug Apprentice of the Year Award. Gannaway will travel to Australia on an all-expenses-paid trip to attend Swug Australia 2017 and she will also visit a number of printing industry sites. She will report back on her trip to the Swug NZ conference next year.

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