May 9th, 2014

Icon Papers Print Apprentice of the Year 2013 Finalists

ICON Digital Printing Papers logo R 3005

The Icon Papers Print Apprentice of the Year Award reflects the culmination of many years of hard work and study for apprentices.

All finalists completed their apprenticeship in 2013 and were chosen following a rigorous selection process based on information and feedback from employers, training advisors, Competenz account managers, assessors, workshop tutors and data from assignments, marks and completion times.

Each finalist will be recognised for their achievement at the awards being held at the Auckland Maritime Museum on Thursday the 22nd of May as part of the PrintNZ conference dinner, with the overall winner being announced at the Pride in Print awards being held at the SkyCity Convention centre the following evening (Friday the 23rd of May).

For more information about the Print Industry Apprentice of the Year Awards please click here.
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Aki Lam Sam
Real Fed Printing - A P Woodham Ltd

After moving to New Zealand from Samoa 10 years ago, Aki Logovii’s first job in his new home country was working in printing, and he hasn’t looked back since. ‘I love printing, it’s interesting to me and I enjoy the people and the atmosphere!’ says Aki.

From starting as a cleaner, Aki has worked his way up and now hopes that following his training he can one day follow in the footsteps of his Print Manager, Ashley Fraser.

‘Aki took this task head on and relished the challenge of completing his assignments with detail and achieved excellent feedback from his assessors. We say to this well done. He should be very proud of himself,” says Ashley.

And it’s an achievement Aki is proud of. He undertook his apprenticeship with learning difficulties and English as a second language – though you couldn’t tell that now.

‘Aki runs and operates a six colour press without supervision and he is now solely in charge of his own production meaning that he is fully competent in his set tasks,’ says Ashley. ‘He can work here as long as he likes because he belongs here.’

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Poppy Sparrow
Digital Processes for Print  – DPI

As a 16 year old high school student, Poppy Sparrow was given the opportunity to complete two work placements under a programme called Gateway. She chose a print and design company, DPI, and a primary school.

It’s clear which won. ‘I loved it!’ says Poppy of her placement at DPI. ‘I knew this was the career I wanted to pursue and I cancelled my second placement.’

Seven years later and Poppy is now a ‘fully fledged’ Graphic Designer, Pre-press Technician and Digital Printer working for the same company she just popped in on for a wee look.

‘I design and prepare files for 2 Konica Minolta digital presses (one full colour machine and one black and white ‘work-horse’) and the CTP processor which I operate to make the plates for a single colour GTO press and a two colour Ryobi press,’ says Poppy.

Her passion for the job is clear for all to see. Poppy’s manager, Paul Johnson, says ‘In my 31 years’ experience I have never worked with a young person with such an undeniably brilliant work ethic which spills over into her quality of performance, initiative and reliable attendance.’

Poppy’s advice to up-and-coming apprentices is to ‘Immerse yourself. You will NEVER stop learning in this industry, and that isn’t a good thing… it’s a GREAT thing!’


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Alysha Johnson

Digital Processes for Print  – Tainui Press Design & Print

Growing up in an artistic family with a talented sketcher for a Dad and a Mum who owns an Arts & Craft business, it’s no wonder that creativity runs in Alysha Johnson’s blood.

After secondary school, Alysha entered into a Graphic Design course where she had to arrange printing of her assignments. Her printer of choice was Tainui Press where she soon came to know owner Dale Ertel.

‘I knew this girl was something special. Alysha displayed an attitude and determination to succeed that is hard to fault. She wanted to be the best. This was the ‘potential’ I was looking for so I offered her an apprenticeship,’ says Dale.

Alysha left her Wintec course which she says was one of the scariest moves of her life but was by far the best decision she’s ever made. ‘I am extremely proud and passionate about working in the design and printing industry and could not imagine myself in any other area,’ says Alysha.

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Lukas Meyer

Binding & Finishing – Kale Print & Design Associates Ltd

Ever since age 10 Lukas Meyer has been interested in web and graphic design, later going on to study it when he finished school. But after struggling to find work in the industry Lukas took on temping work and was placed at Kale Print & Design Associates.

‘They must have liked me because they hired me full time and within a few months offered me an apprenticeship. I figured my skills would best relate to something like Printing or Print Finishing and so I accepted,’ says Lukas.

It was an opportunity for Lukas to gain another qualification under his belt and discover a whole new industry. ‘I never grasped the scale of printing until I started in the trade. There is always something new to learn and see.’

Lukas’ employer, Stephen Kale, sees great potential in him. ‘When our usual supervisor is away Lukas becomes the pivotal point and naturally takes over the organising. He is always there to put his hand up and help others out.’


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Steven Hunter

Reel Fed Printing – Sealed Air (NZ)

Steven Hunter has a big goal – to build and own his own printing company, and achieving his apprenticeship is the first step of his journey.

But Steven had to work hard to earn his position as an apprentice and started out by cleaning up the pressroom and prepping jobs. In any down time though, he focused on the process of what the operator was doing.

‘I found it absolutely amazing when I was first shown an image under an eyepiece. Before then, I had no idea how a life like image was being transferred onto a substrate. Looking under the eyepiece and seeing all these tiny colourful dots making an image blew my mind. From there I thought to myself that printing is a lot more than pushing a start button on a machine – there is a fine process to making a quality image,’ says Steven.

Next Steven plans to study the business and management side of owning a company and to acquire knowledge of everything there is to know about the printing industry.

Printing Manager, Damion Robinson, says Steven has been ‘exceptionally easy to train with a great thirst for knowledge and an enquiring mind. He has learnt the role well, and quickly. From a very early stage he has always stepped up to keep the press running whilst his trainer attended to other duties.’