Apprentice of the Year

Gareth Hilton, one of our Gallus EM280 Printers, won the Print Apprentice of the Year Award in 2012.

Gareth's apprenticeship academic record was absolutely outstanding. The length of time he completed his apprenticeship in was a mere 18 months - a record we reckon. 

We were absolutely chuffed for him. Gareth is a valued staff member, he is always enthusiastic, has a great work ethic and produces great quality work (he printed one of our gold medal winners in 2012 by the way). We're very pleased he has this recognition for all of his efforts.

Here's Gareth's winning speech, delivered on stage, under lights, next to Jackie Clark, in front of 800 people - no pressure at all!

"I learnt about fight or flight at the Conference yesterday, I estimate I have two minutes fight time before the flight response kicks in so I'd better be quick!

I'd like to start by thanking: David Eagles, my training officer, Joan Grace and the Print NZ team, sponsors and everyone involved in providing my training. I'm extremely proud to win this award. I remember sitting at the last Auckland Pride in Print Awards. The five nominees were on stage and Alex, my supervisor at the time, said to me, that will be you in a couple of years. At the time I thought how awesome and terrifying that would be - I can now confirm it is.

I had a great deal of moral and practical support and some good natured ribbing during my apprenticeship. So I'd like to thank a few people.

Rapid Labels GM Anne-Marie Sutton for giving me the opportunity to do an apprenticeship, and taking time out to write letters of support for my application.

Alex Straight, my Production Manager, for his accurate prediction. Alex is a fantastic mentor and role model who always makes time to give advice and encouragement.

Shaun, Tim, Ryan, PC, and maybe Steve, for their training on how to produce quality labels.

Most of the Prepress team for technical advice on how to use the photocopier and binding machine.

And a massive thanks to my wife Emma, for her support and encouragement and translating Microsoft Office into a language I could understand.

Pretty much everyone I know has been supportive throughout my apprenticeship. I hope that winning this award goes a small way towards repaying that support.

Now, on a more serious note, there is a bottle of wine with my name on it and one of my labels and I don't want to keep it waiting any longer, so thank you all very much and enjoy the night."