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Top 12 AotY Demonstrate Impressive Durability

Admirable levels of skill, adaptability and fundamental hard work in trying circumstances have been demonstrated by the 2021 Print Top 12 Apprentices of the Year, enthuses PrintNZ chief executive Ruth Cobb.

This year’s Top 12 entails:

  • Russell Allen, Quality Print Ltd (Taupo) – Digital
  • Rebecca Pond (nee Brooks), SignCraft Kapiti (Waikanae) – Signmaking
  • Alexander Cameron-Brown, Peacock Brothers (Auckland) – Packaging
  • Kieran Densey, Allied Press (Greymouth) – Offset Print
  • Sean Housby, Soar Print (Auckland) – Binding and Finishing
  • Travis Jordan, Soar Print (Auckland) – Digital
  • Toby Marsh, Signbiz (Christchurch) – Signmaking
  • Craig Murray, Global Culture (Christchurch) – Screen
  • Todd Nicholls, Webstar (Masterton) – Offset Print
  • Karl Pearson, Printcraft 81 (Masterton) – Digital
  • Georgia Pritchard, BB Signs (Blenheim) – Signmaking
  • Pranil Ram, Stratex New Zealand (Auckland) – Packaging

“Despite COVID-19 we are thrilled to have such a broad group of high-calibre graduates and whitling them down to the Top 12 was far from an easy task,” says Ms Cobb.

“While 2020 threw us a curve ball the likes of which we have never seen before – and sent many of us off course with our plans last year – it did not stop this group of apprentices from completing their studies and gaining their qualifications to the highest of standards.

“These apprentices have all excelled in their specific disciplines and being named in the Top 12 is a fitting accolade for the hard work they have put in.”

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With a driving focus of PrintNZ being to provide leadership and remain at the forefront of evolutions across the entire sector, Ms Cobb says it is pleasing to yet again witness the Top 12 “recognising the broad range of sectors that come under the print umbrella”.

“For instance, there are many overlapping areas within sign and print – in many cases the work is produced on the same machinery, with printers making signs and signmakers doing printing.

“As our industry continues to evolve, so too should our celebrations of people and products, and so we are thrilled to have such a broad range of graduates included in our Top 12.”

Alongside the apprentices’ own diligence, Ms Cobb says the crucial support roles played by their employers, managers and training advisors in recognising and encouraging their talent deserve significant acknowledgement.

“We are hopeful this year that we are able to suitably recognise those achievements and contributions at our Industry Graduations and, of course, moving through to the naming of the overall Apprentice of the Year at the Pride In Print Awards on June 25 in Auckland.”

However, in light of recent and potential future COVID-19 scares, Ms Cobb says such gatherings will only be held if appropriate to circumstances.

“First and foremost is our desire to ensure that our industry and its community of people are safe.”

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