Nitpicky apprentice (33) takes top print award

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WELLINGTON, Thursday: Stuff Petone press operator Josh Crawford has been named the overall Apprentice of the Year at the PrintNZ Awards, held at Wellington’s TSB Arena last week.

Jenkins Freshpac Systems production manager Ross Craig was named Trainer of the Year, and print distributor Ovato the Training Company of the Year.

Having grown up in nearby Wainuiomata and now aged 33, Crawford said he took a while to find his way into the apprenticeship.

“I had a few setbacks before I started at The Dominion, the Wellington morning daily which became Stuff,” he said. “I was in a job that I wanted to leave.

“My partner Helena’s uncle was a supervisor at the Dom and I really enjoyed working in print. 

“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.

“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 nitpicky 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.”

Stuff Petone Print Centre production manager Hugh Taylor, whose firm also had two Apprentice of the Year finalists last year, praised Crawford for overcoming 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,” Taylor said.

“All this while he managed 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.”

Stuff shift supervisor Hersha Werakoon said Crawford “has the ability to do go on from here and do anything he wants to do – he is pretty much the experienced printer now”.

Competenz trainer Malcolm Pearce said: “From the beginning Joshua was impatient to succeed. I found his attitude refreshing.”

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