The SCNZ Apprentice of the Year Award, in association with Weldwell, acknowledges people whose skills, drive and willingness to learn and work hard has helped them to achieve outstanding outcomes. It recognises well-rounded apprentices who demonstrate not only talent in steel fabrication, but display traits important to the industry – commitment, innovation and ability.
Thomas Forbes of Napier-based steel fabricator Red Steel took out the inaugural Apprentice of the Year Award, which was announced during a gala dinner following SCNZ’s Steel Agenda AGM and Conference) in Napier on 16 September 2016. Thomas was presented with a trophy, certificate and $1,000. Runner up Louie Lumampao of John Jones Steel received a highly commended award and $500.
24-year-old Thomas was stoked to win the award, and says he is always up for new challenges. He credits his drive to demonstrate initiative for his success. “I’m constantly focused on improving outcomes, such as decreasing fabrication time through different fabrication methods and procedures.”
The judging process spanned two months. Finalists were invited to a face-to-face interview with the four-person judging panel, after which they were put through their paces during a practical skills exercise.
The Award is part of SCNZ’s work to promote careers and training in the structural steel sector.
“Over the last 10 years, New Zealand’s steel construction industry has undergone a renaissance and today its share of the New Zealand multilevel construction market is approximately 50%, and growing. This is not only thanks to the many beneficial properties of structural steel, but also to substantial investment by local firms in new technologies and management systems, which are revolutionising the construction industry worldwide,” says SCNZ Manager Darren O'Riley.
“Importantly, a steel structure is the product of a highly skilled team, and each team member is essential to the overall success of the project. The structural steel sector boasts a wide variety of careers, and each offers challenging and rewarding opportunities.”
Entries for the SCNZ Apprentice of the Year 2017 have now closed. The winner will be announced at the Industry Awards Gala Dinner hosted at Addington Raceway in Christchurch on 15 September.
Apprentice of the Year 2016 award winner, Tom Forbes
Grant Simpson, Weldwell, Runner Up Louie Lumampao, Tom Forbes and Red Steel Managing Director, Bob Hawley