Bonny recognised despite the awards postponement

Gisborne Herald apprentice Bonny Seymour is among an expanded line-up of 12 finalists named for PrintNZ's Apprentice of the Year competition.

PrintNZ general manager Ruth Cobb says the list was expanded from the usual ten because of the exceptionally high calibre of candidates, "combined with the desire to recognise the broadening shape of the New Zealand print industry".

While the competition now includes candidates from signmakers/specialty graphics, the decision had already been taken to postpone traditional graduation ceremonies, even before a government restriction would have stopped them.

"For the safety of our industry and communities, we needed to show leadership and make that decision - and, subsequently, that call has of course been validated by the rapid escalation to Level 4," says Cobb. "However, an unavoidable and unfortunate consequence is we haven't been able to announce the Top 12 in deserved fashion in front of their families, friends and colleagues."

While Top 5 apprentices will likely miss out on the opportunity of appearing on stage at the Pride In Print awards evening, a new initiative is planned.

This year's Top 12 (in alphabetical order) are:

Parth Bhatt of McHargs, Christchurch (Binding and Finishing)

Thomas Bloxham of Southern Colour Print, Dunedin (Binding and Finishing)

Aleshia Edens of James Print, Greymouth (Digital Printing)

Vanessa Hooton of Tainui Press, Matamata (Digital Printing)

Ryan Scott-Fellows of Hally Labels, Christchurch (Reelfed Printing)

Emma Maxwell of EIL, Christchurch (Screen Printing)

David O'Brien of Sign Network, Christchurch (Signmaking)

Nurudin Pelenda of Ovato, Auckland (Sheetfed Printing)

Bonny Seymour of the Gisborne Herald, Gisborne (Reelfed Printing)

Matthew Stockford of Gravure Packaging, Wellington (Reelfed Printing)

Koshy Thomas of Oji Fibre Solutions Paper Bag Auckland (Reelfed Printing)

Kadin Woods of Mirage Visual, Palmerston North (Signmaking)

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