Top apprentice Crawford made of the Stuff to succeed

'Impatient to succeed', Josh Crawford's life changed when he secured an opening at Stuff's Petone print centre.

Now the 33-year-old, currently a press operator at the former Fairfax New Zealand newspaper site at which The Dominion is printed, has been named PrintNZ's apprentice of the year.

He says it took a while to find his way into the apprenticeship following "a few setbacks" and a job he wanted to leave. "My partner Helena's uncle was a supervisor at the Dominion and I asked him if he could give me a job there.

"I was willing to do anything, I didn't care what it was, but really enjoyed working in print."

A call from centre manager Ricky Baker put him on the path for an apprenticeship, which has led to an opportunity to complete a diploma in print management. "I was stoked and want to do the best I can, go as far as I can, even though I like being one of the boys," he says. "I like the pressure at work - I can be quite nitpicky, but I take pride in my work and take it pretty hard if there is a mistake. As a tradesperson you never stop learning."

His positive attitude attracted the attention of production manager Hugh Taylor, who says Josh Crawford managed to balance the demands of work and family while dealing with family issues and major life changes. "It hasn't always been easy for him, but he has managed to remain an extremely likeable guy who genuinely gets on with pretty much everyone."

Hersha Werakoon, a shift supervisor at Stuff - which had two apprentice of the year finalists last year - says has the ability to do go on from here and do anything he wants to do: "He is pretty much the experienced printer now."

Competenz trainer Malcolm Pearce says from the beginning he was impatient to succeed: "I found his attitude refreshing."

Other PrintNZ awards went to Jenkins Freshpac Systems production manager Ross Craig, named trainer of the year, and Ovato the top training company.

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