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New Zealand's brightest young sparks announced

New Zealand's brightest young sparks announced

An apprentice electrician from Invercargill and another from Auckland have been judged New Zealand’s brightest sparks after taking out the ECANZ Challenge, the country’s toughest contest for apprentice electricians.

Vaughan Marshall, 21, of South City Electrical in Invercargill, beat four other finalists to win the Commercial and Domestic category at the gruelling two-day final at Hamilton’s Claudelands Events Centre on August 14-15.

Meanwhile, Jonathan McFall, also 21, of Dalton Electrical, Auckland came out on top against four other finalists in the Industrial category.

The pair each won $6,000 worth of prizes and the title of ‘Electrical Apprentice of the Year’.

This year’s challenge for Commercial and Domestic entrants included project design and costing, commercial site automation, lighting and energy efficiency modelling as well as a cable repair. The Industrial challenge included the automation of a conveyer system with all facets of a typical application, including motor drives, operator touch screens and pneumatic equipment programming being tackled.

Neville Simpson, CEO of the Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand, said he was hugely impressed with the quality of the young electricians’ work.

“I’d like to congratulate them for their outstanding efforts. The ECANZ Challenge tested the apprentices to the limit and they came out with flying colours. Both men have recognised the exciting prospects the electrical contracting industry offers.

“As apprentices, they have benefited from on-the-job training, have been paid while learning and worked on a variety of electrical jobs in an industry that is always growing.”

More than 100 entrants originally took part in a series of regional knockout heats with 10 competing in the final.

“The calibre of contestants was impressively high and all finalists approached the tasks and gave their absolute best,” said Mr Simpson.

Anyone interested in a career as an electrician should contact etco, a wholly owned subsidiary of ECANZ. Established to provide employment and training for the electrical industry, etco focuses on the employment and placement of electrical apprentices via its group apprenticeship scheme and offers training courses for apprentices and tradespeople.


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