PrintNZ and Competenz/Te Pūkenga have named the five finalists for the BJ Ball Papers Apprentice of the Year

The Top Five are:

PrintNZ Screen Print Apprentice of the Year – Liam Blom, ACI Screen & Print (Auckland)

Heidelberg Offset Apprentice of the Year – Kosema Fuiono, Blue Star Collard (Auckland)

BJ Ball Packaging Apprentice of the Year – Frey Head, Oji Fibre Solutions Paper Bag (Auckland)

Trust4Skills Reelfed Apprentice of the Year – John Reddy, Philstic Labels (Auckland)

GAPF Digital Apprentice of the Year – Nana Southall, Blue Star Constellation (Auckland)

Screen

Liam Blom, the PrintNZ Screen Print Apprentice of the Year, says, “I feel as if I have put a lot of time and effort into learning and producing quality work, both in my apprenticeship and printing. For that to be recognised is all I could ever ask to be honest.

“Making the Top Five further instils the encouragement and motivation being given to me by both my employers and Competenz training advisor Grant Alsop. I will continue to strive for growth and success, not only within the print industry but in my life as a whole.”

Heidelberg Offset Apprentice of the Year Kosema Fuiono, calls it an amazing achievement. He says, “It means a lot to be named in the Top Five, not only for myself but also for my family and Bluestar Collard, where it all started. I wasn’t expecting to be even named in the Top 10. When I was told about it, I was really appreciative and humbled.

“I was definitely surprised to then be named the Offset Apprentice of the Year. It’s been a blessing.”

Packaging

Frey Head, the BJ Ball Packaging Apprentice of the Year is “incredibly grateful” for everyone who supported his development. In particular, he names the print team at Oji Fibre Solutions and Competenz’s Grant Alsop.

He says, “Being named Packaging Apprentice of the Year is unbelievable. I still can’t believe I’m mentioned in an article. Being named in the Top 10 was an impressive enough achievement.

“And I have really enjoyed the journey and thank you to everyone who made this possible.”

Reelfed

Trust4Skills Reelfed Apprentice of the Year John Reddy, says, “I feel truly honoured because it just shows that all the hard work that I put in has been recognised.

“I also want to use it as a chance to show my family and change the stigma of not going to university and getting a degree. This is not the only option for after school. Growing up with an Indian father, believe me, there was no other option.

“But after completing my apprenticeship and purchasing my first home, it has opened my eyes and the eyes of my extended family to see that getting an apprenticeship is actually an option.”

Digital

Nana Southall, the GAPF Digital Apprentice of the Year, says, “Being named the Digital Apprentice of the Year makes me feel like I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

“I want to show people that I am a force to be reckoned with. I also hope it will encourage more females to join the print industry as it’s definitely not limited to men. If I can do it, so can you.

“I put my all into the apprenticeship. Having my parents there when this was announced was something that I was excited about. In addition, to see their response and how they were so proud of me made me feel it was all so worth it.”

PrintNZ will present the BJ Ball Papers Apprentice of the Year winner on stage at the Pride In Print Awards. The gala dinner takes place on June 17 at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

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