On the 8th December 2016, the New Zealand Marine and Composites Industry Training Organisation (NZMAC ITO) celebrated the graduation of 52 apprentices in the marine, composites, and marina industries. NZMAC ITO has hit a major milestone in apprenticeship training in 2016, with 400+ apprentices currently engaged in training. Marine and composites industries have shown steady growth. Sales of trailer power boats on the increase generating $163.7 million in trade sales in New Zealand in 2014. Businesses are increasingly desperate for skilled staff. This has fuelled an increase in the number of companies investing in upskilling their staff through training programmes and apprenticeships with NZMAC ITO.
Rikki Swete, Marine Systems Engineering apprentice from Shotover Jet Ltd, won the Bruce Robinson Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Rikki has spent the last 3 years refining his skills as a maintenance engineer and completing his apprenticeship. Throughout his time as an apprentice Rikki has shown an energetic, focussed approach to work, great leadership skills, and adept communication and interpersonal skills. Rikki was also this year’s recipient of the Shotover Jet Grease Monkey of the Year Award. Prior to completing his marine systems qualification with NZMAC ITO, Rikki had completed a mechanical engineering qualification. In the future, Rikki would like to continue his training in project management.
This year the recipient of the NZMAC ITO Youth Leadership Award was Jay-Evan Paskell, of C-Quip International. While training with NZMAC ITO Jay has completed Composites (Level 3), and Composites (Level 4) qualifications. Jay began his career at Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders with a work placement. From there he secured a full time position at C-Quip International, where he has trained and worked for the last 5 years. Jay is now the supervisor of the clean room and the Lamination Team Leader. Throughout his apprenticeship Jay has shown a great passion for the composites industry and industry training. He takes immense pride in his workmanship and displays pronounced leadership in his team. His implementation of lean management is world class and Jay displays patience and empathy for others, well beyond his years.
This year, the Composites Association of New Zealand Award was presented to Caleb Burke of FI Innovations. Caleb began his composites apprenticeship at FI Innovations in 2014, and has continued to refine his skills as a composites technician throughout the last 3 years. During his time at FI Innovations Caleb has shown many great attributes including: using his initiative, being extremely versatile, having a great eye for detail, challenging the status quo, continuously identifying and initiating improvement opportunities, and always exceeding expectations with regard to quality, reliability and forward thinking. Caleb leads FI Innovation’s infusion team with responsibilities including product development, streamlining of processes and systems, and scheduling work. Caleb oversaw the transition from standard bag infusion to silicon bag infusion and set up the systems and processes for foam filling of Stabicraft pontoon boats. As a highly valued team member, FI Innovations are very sure he will go a long way in the composites industry.
NZMAC ITO would like to congratulate all of its 2016 graduates and encourage them to continue refining their skills and knowledge, as they become the industry leaders of tomorrow.