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MTA Automotive Apprentice Of The Year Announced


MTA Automotive Apprentice Of The Year Announced

Caleb Braid from Karamu Holden, Hastings has been announced as the MTA 2002 Automotive Apprentice Of The Year. The winner of the Tom Hodson Memorial Award, Caleb was presented with his award by MITO Chief Executive Officer, Janet Lane, at the MTA’s 2002 Conference in Wellington. Selected from more than 30 applicants, Caleb, a Modern Apprentice, was more than a little surprised when informed he had won; he’d never been told he had even been entered. Caleb’s prize included a Trophy, Framed Certificate, and $250 each from MTA and MITO.

Caleb, 21, hails from Napier and has been with his present employer since mid 2001. His apprenticeship with Karamu Holden began following a discussion between Dealer Principal Kerry Stone and Caleb’s uncle. Caleb had attended a Pre-Trade course at the Eastern Institute of Technology, but the company he was working for at that time was not in a position to offer him an apprenticeship. Fortunately, Karamu Holden were looking for a suitable apprentice and so took him on.

His progress since then has been little short of outstanding, he is already about to complete his apprenticeship and, according to Kerry Stone, has fully justified his decision to offer him an apprenticeship, saying “Caleb’s quite unique. He’s very, very dedicated, and has been head down in his work from day one. His progress has been such that even the experienced workshop staff refer to him for help and advice”.

Although very much surprised by his success, Caleb says he is “very happy with the result”. He describes his rapid progress through his apprenticeship as “motivation in itself, I needed to get through it quickly.” As if his regular apprenticeship studies have not been challenging enough, he has also been working on units for Holden’s Guild and Senior Technicians courses at the same time. To round out what has been a whirlwind year for him, he will also be sitting for his “A” Grade in November! Despite what must be a grueling schedule of study and work he’s quite clear about his work and says he “loves the job.”

In the little spare time left, he lists his hobbies as watching and participating in motor sport – it seems if it has a motor he just has to be involved.

A very tight contest, this years awards were something of a Hawkes Bay benefit with First Runner-up going to Cameron Gunn from Stewart Greer Motors Ltd of Napier. Rounding out the top three spots was Second Runner-up, Alan Rose from Nelson Truck Spares Ltd.

The judges all commented that the calibre and quality of the nominations and that's great news for the automotive industry. The testimonials provided by the employers highlighted the commitment these apprentices have to achieve their qualification and "add value" to their individual workplaces. It's always tough to pick a winner - but Caleb's sheer determination to excel and his dedication to his studies and technical expertise impressed the judges.


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