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Accountant turned plumber wins top apprentice award

Before deciding plumbing was the career for him, Kelly Adam qualified as an accountant.

Now, having completed his four-year apprenticeship, Kelly has won the prestigious James Douglas Medallion at the 2018 New Zealand Plumbing Awards which were held in Hamilton on Friday 23 March.

This award recognises the country’s top newly qualified apprentice in plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying.

The winner receives a Career Development Scholarship to help them further their industry progress.

Kelly works at Impact Roofing & Plumbing in Dunedin.

The firm provides domestic and commercial services, with clients including Fonterra, Speights and Otago University.

He carried out his apprenticeship through Masterlink - a group scheme that employs apprentices and places them with host plumbing firms.

Kelly’s Masterlink mentor Roger Herd nominated him for the award, noting his strong work ethic, attention to detail and willingness to assist other apprentices.

"Nothing seems to faze Kelly," he says. "I was always met with a smile and his dry sense of humour."

Kelly is now entrusted with high-value contracts. He is also helping train up the next round of apprentices at the firm.

"Five years ago, a casual conversation started me on this journey - and I haven’t looked back," Kelly said as he accepted the award. He gave special thanks to his wife for supporting his vocational change.

With an accounting degree under his belt, he is well placed to run his own plumbing business some day.

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