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Strong Apprenticeship Debut For TGM Creative


New Plymouth-based TGM Creative has made a rewarding entry to PrintNZ training programmes, with its print specialist/graphic designer Rachael Smith being named as one of five finalists in this year’s Apprentice of the Year Awards.

With judges now in the throes of determining the ultimate winner, TGM Creative owner Andrea Leadbetter says the process has “really opened our eyes to the benefits of extra staff training”.

“Rachael is currently our only staff member in a PrintNZ training programme and this is the first time we have entered this award,” says Mrs Leadbetter.

“As a design, print, web and marketing agency working with many of Taranaki’s largest organisations, it is important that the company offers the most qualified and experienced specialists across all areas and this qualification was no exception. We can now offer specialist print knowledge to the Taranaki business community that wasn’t previously available.”

In regards to Ms Smith specifically, Mrs Leadbetter describes her as being an “extremely organised person” who takes her role within the company “very seriously”.

“Helping clients to produce the best solutions for their printing requirements is something she does on a daily basis, so completing her print apprenticeship one whole year early with three of her five assignments achieving excellence was no surprise to us.

“She also actively participates in assisting the organisation with continuous improvement and helping other staff members to improve their own delivery through streamlining systems, as well as regularly updating quality manuals.

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“Additionally, Rachael has some medical challenges, so she has juggled this whole process in between regular visits to her specialist in Wellington, life-changing surgery and full-time work -- and has co-ordinated it so she causes the least amount of disruption in the workplace.”

Ms Smith says she is delighted to have made the final five.

“It’s such an honour, especially as I’m regionally-located as opposed to being from one of the bigger cities -- it just doesn’t happen around here!” says Ms Smith.

Fascinated by art and design as a student, she describes herself as “one of the lucky ones” who has been able to turn her passion into a career.

“I have worked in the print and design industry for over 13 years now. It’s such a dynamic and changing industry which is great because it keeps me interested and wanting to learn more.

“The apprenticeship was a great way of increasing my industry knowledge, including different methods which only strengthened my skills in print and design. It also encouraged me think about the business as a whole.

“Documenting what you do in your employment really is an eye opener as you start to look and think about the things you do, why, and if it can be done better. In a way, everything starts to make sense as you no longer just see what your task is, but why you need to do it a certain way and what the company is trying to achieve by doing it.”

Christchurch’s Cardboard Cathedral and Central Auckland’s Heritage Hotel will play host to PrintNZ’s Apprentice Training Graduation Ceremonies on April 16 and 22 respectively.

The five Apprentice of the Year Finalists will be brought onto stage and the ultimate winner announced on Pride In Print Awards Night at Wellington’s TSB Arena on May 1.


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