‘Every part’ of being able to run Webstar’s 64-page heatset web has been a highlight for apprentice Todd Nicholls.
A printer and assistant at the company’s Masterton print centre, he says he also enjoys leading a crew of five on the press to achieve the best quality product, while learning from skilled individuals.
Nicholls and four other New Zealand print apprentices have just been named the country’s Top Five, an accolade he says, “shows hard work pays off” and is great both for him and Webstar.
With Alexander Cameron-Brown, Travis Jordan, Craig Murray and Karl Pearson, he is in the running for the Apprentice of the Year title, which will be announced at the 2021 Pride In Print Awards dinner in Auckland on June 25.
PrintNZ chief executive Ruth Cobb says the calibre of these apprentices came to the fore in the uniquely-difficult circumstances of completing their studies during last year’s onset of the global pandemic. “Some had to continue to go to work under extreme pressure and others weren’t able to go to work at all,” she says.
This year’s crop of apprentices lost face-to-face visits from their training advisors – with only virtual support – while the businesses they worked for had to endure intense pressures. “Despite all of these challenges, these apprentices continued to complete their studies and not just pass, but do so at the exceptional level they had demonstrated right throughout their apprenticeships.
“PrintNZ is extremely impressed by the contribution and performance of all parties and it speaks volumes to the mettle and talent in abundance within our industry.”
Nicholls has been named Heidelberg offset apprentice of the year.
Cameron-Brown, a production manager with Auckland-based Peacock Brothers, is the BJ Ball Papers packaging apprentice of the year; Jordan (a digital team member of Auckland’s Soar Print) and Pearson (a prepress/digital printer with Printcraft 81 in Masterton) are jointly named GAPF digital apprentice of the year; while Murray – currently on a pandemic-enforced sabbatical from Christchurch firm Global Culture – is this year’s top Trust4Skills screenprint apprentice.