Stuff Petone Press Operator Josh Crawford was named the overall PrintNZ Apprentice of the Year, earlier this month.
Mr Crawford expressed gratitude to his Stuff team and said he was “humbled”.
“When I first got the letter to say I had made the Top 10, I thought ‘how cool’ it was but I never realised how big it would be,” he said.
“It feels pretty surreal, a little bit weird. It is also a relief now that it is over. I feel a weight has come off my shoulders.”
Having grown up in Wainuiomata and now aged 33, Mr Crawford said he took a while to find his way into the apprenticeship.
“I had a few setbacks before I started at the Dominion, which became Stuff. I was in a job that I 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 here. I was willing to do anything, I didn’t care what it was, I really enjoyed working in print. Eventually Ricky Baker hit me up to start the apprenticeship. I was stoked when he did that and I wanted to do the best I could.
“I now have the opportunity to complete a Diploma in Print Management. I want to go as far as I can, even though I like being one of the boys, I like the pressure at work.
“Sometimes I can be quite nit-picky with things, I do take pride in my work. If there is a mistake, I take it pretty hard, I want to produce high-quality print. As a tradesperson you never stop learning. Now the other guys at work are happy for me to go about learning the job and getting it done.”
Competenz Training Advisor Malcolm Pearce, who meets with Josh four times a year during his apprenticeship, has been impressed with his work from the start.
“From the beginning, Joshua was impatient to succeed. I found his attitude refreshing,” says Mr Pearce.
Stuff Petone Print Centre Production Manager Hugh Taylor, says Josh has overcome some major life changes and challenges in recent years.
“It hasn't always been easy for Josh, like most people there have been family issues to deal with – he has become a father twice – while completing his apprenticeship and has been able to balance the demands of work and family,” says Mr Taylor.
“All this while managing to remain an extremely likeable guy who genuinely gets on with pretty much everyone. I have had the pleasure of watching him grow not only from a print perspective but also as a family man whilst completing his apprenticeship.”
Photo: Stuff Petone Press Operator Josh Crawford (centre) was named the overall PrintNZ Apprentice of the Year. He is pictured here with (L to R) Joint Digital Apprentice of the Year, Sarah Knight, The Big Picture, Packaging Apprentice of the Year, Sanjay Daji, Stratex, Joint Digital Apprentice of the Year, Hayley Young, James Print, Binding and Finishing Apprentice of the Year, Tania Westbury, Inkwise.
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Opal is a manufacturer of corrugated fibre packaging for a wide range of customers in the food, wine, industrial and beverage industries. Bruce Coombe is Opal’s Technical Supervisor and has been with the company for the past 32 years, and a workplace apprentices assessor for Competenz for 20 years.