The Future Business Leaders Forum, held as part of the recent Got A Trade Week, highlighted some of the country’s top trainees in trades and services, including printing.

PrintNZ Apprentice of the Year Sione Taueli Tonga won the Pasifika Future Leader award. Now a senior printer at Stratex New Zealand, he says, “My goal for the future is to one day become a manager running a department. It is every Pacific teenager’s dream to become a boss in a company; especially for someone like myself, starting with nothing to become something.”

The judges said, “Sione has an amazing work ethic, has overcome adversity and focused on making positive family changes through his personal and professional development.”

Auckland mental health worker Christina Taefu took out the top award. Vodafone design engineering apprentice Meresiana Mata Fugawai Uluiviti won the General Future Leader award. Awards sponsors include The Edge FM, New Zealand Print, Ateed, E Tū, Infometrics and MYOB.

The judging panel included Industry Training Federation chief executive Josh Williams; Rachel Petero; Mark O’Grady from New Zealand Print, Bronwyn Yates of Literacy Aotearoa; and MAI FM station manager Philip Bell. Willaims says, “Our judging criteria looked carefully at how the nominees had overcome any hardship in their lives, their attitude to workplace training, their leadership ability and how they showed commitment to their communities.

Got A Trade Week, organised by the country’s industry training organisations representing more than 140 trades and services, raises awareness of opportunities and career paths in the trades and services.

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