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Kiwi tradesman scoops medal in Japan

Kiwi tradesman scoops medal in Japan

Kiwi printer Kieran Dale has put New Zealand on the world stage after winning a bronze medal at the WorldSkills trades competition in Japan this week.

During four days of intense competition from 15th-18th November, Kieran and eight print competitors from around the world put all of their skill and knowledge to the test to print a range of test jobs (calendars, postcards & posters) under the scrutiny of judges and a huge crowd of spectators. Judging then took place over the following two days before the winners were announced at an Awards Ceremony on 21st November. Kieran was one of three members of the Tool Blacks team, all from different trades, to receive a medal (one silver and two bronze).

“I am over the moon,” says Kieran, speaking from Japan. “It was very intense during the competition and I had no idea how well I had done. The biggest challenge was producing high quality work in the limited time frame we had on the press. The team has been celebrating but we are all looking forward to coming home.”

Kieran, 22, completed his printing apprenticeship at Logick Print & Graphics in Auckland earlier this year. Much of his spare time has been spent perfecting his skills in preparation for the international competition. Kieran won the 2006 SkillEX sheet-fed printing competition, putting him in contention for WorldSkills.

PrintNZ Training chief executive, Joan Grace, says: “this is the first time that a New Zealand printer has taken part in WorldSkills. To have Kieran pick up a medal is absolutely fantastic.

“Kieran’s win reflects our world-class workplace training system and Kieran’s commitment to putting 100% into his job. We have to pay tribute to our sponsors – BJ Ball Papers and Trust 4 Skills – without their support we would not involved in events like these. Thanks to Kieran’s employer Dave Gick, Grant Letfus, Plan & Print, the Heidelberg Academy and everyone involved in getting Kieran to Japan.”

Logick Print & Graphics Manager, Dave Gick, says they are “over the moon” about Kieran’s win.

“We have been like cats on a hot tin roof for the two weeks leading up to WorldSkills, so to have this result is just unbelievable. Kieran has a great attitude and has worked very hard over the last 10 months to prepare for Japan. There has also been a huge commitment from the industry, with everyone coming from all corners to help out.”

The cost of holding the SkillEX printing competition and Kieran’s participation at WorldSkills has been sponsored by BJ Ball Papers and Trust 4 Skills.

BJ Ball Papers Chief Executive, Andrew Bull, says: “Kieran has done himself, his employer, BJBall Papers and the printing industry as a whole, proud.

“Kieran has shown that our apprentices and trainees have the skills, knowledge and determination to succeed internationally. The print industry can be proud to have young people like Kieran coming through – they are tomorrow’s leaders.”

Trust4Skills Chairperson Megan Henson says they are thrilled about Kieran’s achievement.

“When the Trades Olympics were first brought to the Board's attention, all the board members were unanimous in wanting Trust4Skills to be involved with sponsoring the preparing and sending someone for this event.

“Kieran's win will hopefully be an inspiration to other young people and highlight that there are other benefits of taking on an apprenticeship in the printing industry apart from the very real career opportunities available.”

Kieran was one of 14 young Kiwi trades people to compete at WorldSkills, from industries including printing, carpentry, cookery, welding and auto body repair. Kieran and the Tool Blacks arrive back in New Zealand on Friday 23rd November. Those wanting to welcome back the Tool Blacks can gather in the international arrivals area of Auckland International Airport at 10am.


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