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Apprentice of the Year award winners announced

This year’s IAG New Zealand Trades Scholarship awards feature four Apprentice of the Year winners, with a glazing recipient recognised for the first time and the collision repair award shared by two young panelbeaters.

A record number of apprentices were also inducted into the 2019 awards which celebrate both graduates and inductees across several apprenticeship categories including collision repair, glazing, building and management.

The two winners of the Collision Repair Apprentice of the Year were Cameron Fairless, 26, from Hart’s Body Shop in Palmerston North and Dylan McGinnity, 24, from Ashton Panel and Paint in Lower Hutt. They were presented their awards at a ceremony in Wellington on 17 October.

These two first year apprentices are training as panelbeaters, and their achievements were virtually equal and considered well above expectations for their first year of training. Feedback from employers and industry trainers highlighted their exemplary attitude to learn and apply their skills.

The two other winners this year were 21-year-old Daniel Crowe from the Glass Man in New Plymouth who was named Glazing Apprentice of the Year in Hamilton on 10 October, and 23-year-old Vienna Kupa from Breen Construction in Wanaka was named as Building Apprentice of the Year in Christchurch last Thursday.

In Vienna’s award entry, her Industry Training Advisor expressed the view that “Vienna will become a quality carpenter and be a great example to both others around her and to women in trades.”

The awards have been running for 18 years and IAG provides financial backing for these apprentices by paying tuition and apprenticeship fees.

The insurer also works with partners to ensure apprentices receive the right support to help hone their craft and succeed in the sector.

For the past eight years, IAG’s John O’Rourke has run the Trades Scholarship Programme and says this year’s intake of 51 is the largest in its history.

“It’s just fantastic to see so many keen apprentices and management trainees taking up the vocation,” he says.

“This year’s IAG apprentices are spread across the country, with particularly strong representation in the regions, meaning these communities will continue to be supported with highly-skilled and trained apprentices.”

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