Over 140 guests attended the New Zealand Marine Industry Training Organisation (NZMITO) apprentice graduation earlier this month as over 90 apprentices from around New Zealand graduated with internationally recognised qualifications in the marine and boating industry.
The event, held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Westhaven, saw the recently qualified apprentices celebrate their achievements over the past three to four years with their with their friends, family, colleagues and employers. Thirty-five graduates attended the evening to collect their qualifications and awards, including the prestigious Bruce Robinson Rotary Youth Leadership Award, presented by Richard Thorpe.
The Bruce Robinson Rotary Youth Leadership award, which recognises a positive attitude, passion for the industry, leadership amongst peers and a consistent quality of work, was presented to Joshua Puckey, who completed his apprenticeship under the guidance of Alloy Yachts in west Auckland.
Puckey said: “It’s been a massive journey over the past four years, so to finally be here is awesome. Before I started my training I was just doing simple servicing type jobs and after finishing this apprenticeship, I’m now quite a big part of building superyachts so it’s great.
“All of us [the graduates] are stoked. It has given us the confidence to go out into the workforce and we’re really excited for the opportunities that these qualifications will bring in the future. So we’d all like to say a massive thank you to all of our employers and supporters for helping us to get here.”
Alloy Yacht’s Human Resource Manager, Graeme Eddy, echoes Puckey’s sentiments and says that apprentices are instrumental in consistently rejuvenating the industry and the diversity they bring to their business, and to the industry as a whole, makes the workforce a better place to be.
“These apprentices are an essential part of the workforce and it’s great to see this programme [the NZMITO] continuing to grow. The structured training means the apprentices are trained to the highest standard and we’ve seen many apprentices go on to great things around New Zealand, and the world.”
With 16 apprentices graduating from their company this year, and several hundred more over previous years, Alloy Yachts maintains the industry needs the NZMITO as New Zealand-built boats are still highly sought-after around the world for their high quality workmanship.
Guest speaker, Commodore Steve Burrett of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, who has attended many Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup campaigns over the years including the most recent 2013 event, also encouraged the apprentices to believe in their work as New Zealand is still seen as a source for the best boats in the world.
“Don’t undervalue the work that you do,” says Burrett. “This apprenticeship is your passport to the world so use it wisely like the people before you and you will succeed in your endeavours.”
For more information about the NZMITO or how to enrol for 2014, please visit our website http://www.nzmarine.com/marine-apprentices/
The New Zealand Marine Industry Training Association’s graduation evening was supported by Kia, Fuji Xerox, GoughsGurit, Survitec Group, Adhesive Technologies NZ Ltd, Alloy Yachts, Altex Yacht and Boat Paint, Bailey Marine Ltd, Cervina, Diversified Products NZ Ltd, Hamilton Jet New Zealand, Composites Association of New Zealand, Nuplex Composites, Whiting Power Systems and Red Hot Creative.
[Article by Alana McIsaac]
Pictured: NZMITO field officer Noel Huggard, Bruce Robinson Rotary Youth Leadership award winner Joshua Puckey, Richard Thorpe from TNL GAC Pindar representing Rotary, NZMITO CEO Chris van der Hor.