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Annual NZ Print Training Honours Bestowed

Attale, Lean and Lighting Labels Claim NZ Print Training Honours

Dilanka Attale of Kiwi Labels has been bestowed with the prestigious New Zealand Print Apprentice of the Year Award, with Colin Lean of Logan Print named Trainer of the Year and Lightning Labels the Training Company of the Year.

Apprentice of the Year

Making the presentations during last Friday’s Pride In Print Awards Night, PrintNZ general manager Ruth Cobb described Mr Attale as demonstrating a “thorough technical knowledge of the process alongside a real passion for the work he produces, the people he works with, the business he works for and the overall industry”.

“In his words ‘find your passion, never give up and make your success’,” said Ms Cobb.

Honoured and expressing how much the award meant to himself and family, Mr Attale paid tribute to Competenz, PrintNZ, the judging panel and also his employers.

“I sincerely thank Kiwi Labels for putting me into this apprenticeship and also special thanks to my managers for sharing their knowledge in printing with me,” he said.

“I would like to thank Andrew Thomson, my technical manager, in helping me out in various ways -- identifying that extra interest which I had towards printing and letting me shine.

“I would not have achieved this without these guys. From the first day they have been very helpful and encouraging me -- always welcoming my ideas and correcting me when I am wrong.

“Also, huge thanks to my wife and my parents -- believing in me through all these years, studying and working. I’m now one step closer to achieving my future goals.”

Describing Mr Attale’s achievement as “outstanding”, Kiwi Labels general manager Guy Phillips said it was “reflection of the hard work and commitment Dilanka has shown right from day one”.

“This also really highlights the mentoring and training of both Andrew Thomson and Regan Fox throughout Dilanka’s training,” he said.

“A proud moment for our company.”

Mr Phillips emphasised that training was of “great importance to Kiwi Labels.

“We want to be able to support and mentor keen and committed people. We also want to keep supporting our wonderful clients with the best staff.

“Training is a big commitment for both the employee and employer but one we are 100% behind. Upskilling and learning never stops. The benefit for us is offering our clients a quality product made by skilled and committed people.”

Trainer of the Year

Ms Cobb said Logan Print technical manager Colin Lean, who has previously been named both the Top Level 3 Completion Sheetfed Trainee and Sheetfed Apprentice of the Year, “leads by example and is a worthy winner of the Trainer of the Year Award”.

“Colin has continued his education with the Diploma of Print Management, while at the same time championing 12 apprentices through the business, including an Apprentice of the Year Finalist,” said Ms Cobb.

Noting this year was the first time his Gisborne-based company had entered the Trainer of the Year Award, Mr Lean spoke of the “great honour” in being named winner, while also playing down his contribution.

“I am only a small part in our company’s training team, so I was proud to represent the whole team at Logan Print,” he said.

“Our current apprentices are mentored daily by our former apprentices on the production floor. This support extends to our production engineer, pre-press team and senior guillotine operators.

“Of the 12 apprentices I have helped train at Logans, nine are still with us, which shows we are doing a great job and our staff want to be here. I hope we can do this for more apprentices going forward.”

Asked if he had any particular philosophies in regards to training practice, Mr Lean added that he enjoyed working with the apprentices and Competenz account manager Malcolm Pearce, “to set realistic goals and then support the trainees to reach these goals”.

“One-on-one training sessions, using live jobs as training tools, are a great way to help them through their training.”

Training Company of the Year

Ms Cobb praised Lightning Labels for having “embraced training across their whole workforce”.

“They had five staff complete seven qualifications during 2017 and have had at least one staff member complete a qualification every year for at least the last four years,” said Ms Cobb.

“They are a small business with a big heart for training and developing their staff and we are thrilled to award them Training Company of the Year.”

With the firm having been finalists in this award for the past three years, Lightning Labels director Chris Goodwin paid tribute to their “wonderful team” for now being named winners.

“It’s a team win for us, without the dedication and effort our trainees put into their training we wouldn’t have achieved this wonderful result,” she said.

“Being a small and privately-owned company we feel very proud to have achieved this and pleased it has been acknowledged within our industry.

“It just shows other small companies what can be achieved, not only for your own company, but the industry as a whole.”

Having just signed another employee to the apprenticeship programme, Ms Goodwin said her firm’s commitment to training was benefiting both the business itself as well as “empowering employees to achieve higher quality and output levels, and greater work satisfaction”.

“Our company has 24 employees and we had five graduates in 2017 -- so that’s 20% of our company who were actively participating in further education. We give our trainees our full support and encouragement throughout their courses and this also continues well after they have completed their courses.

“We encourage our trainees to continue their education no matter what level they are at and it is not always [purely print-related]. It is this type of investment that will keep our company strong and rejuvenated well into the future.”


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