It's quite an accomplishment

Graduating in timber joinery

Completing a qualification is no small feat. It takes time, dedication, and skill and is an achievement worthy of recognition. New Zealand Master Joiners, the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association and BCITO have worked together to recognise Joinery and Kitchen Design learners in Otago.

New Zealand Master Joiners Otago Chapter, BCITO and the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association have been holding a graduation ceremony for Joinery and Kitchen Design apprentices for ten years as of Thursday 11 November. This event is a recognition of excellence. It brings together families, trainers, apprentices, assessors, industry members to celebrate the achievement of apprentices.

Peter Leith (pictured below), the chair of NZMJ’s Otago chapter, spoke about the benefit of having a ceremony for tradies, “Generally the employer will say 'you’ve finished your time' and congratulate them. It’s great to give the apprentices something similar to the university students. The families love to celebrate with them.”

Andrew Bellamy of Wood Solutions shares, “It’s about having a moment to celebrate achievements and share a couple of stories and challenges. Last year we had over 100 attend. This year was limited due to COVID, but we are excited about where the next few years will go with increased trainee numbers.”

Jacqui Colbert, Dunedin’s BCITO Business Development Advisor, has been working with NZMJ to arrange these graduations since they started in 2012. “It’s just grown and got better and better every year. We’re still improving. The event is sponsored by industry, so the joiners received $100 vouchers, and the winner of the Bruce Hanning Trophy received an impact driver, power drill and $500 sponsored by AEG," says Jacqui.

Taela Atcheson receiving the Bruce Hannan award

The Bruce Hanning Trophy is awarded to the apprentice who shows the most promise, skill and work ethic during their time. This year it was awarded to Taela Aitcheson (pictured right) from Abernethy Joinery. Taela shared about his experience at the graduation, “It was a good event for the times that we’re in. Everyone was happy and talkative. Seeing lots of familiar faces from the industry was nice.” The ability to catch up with peers from off-job training courses and share their journeys was just one of the great things about the event says Taela, “It’s quite an accomplishment seeing my parents so happy and everyone happy that I’ve made it.” Taela highlighted the importance of good training in his journey to completing his qualification, “There were no massive challenges because my boss Ian and Wayne, my trainer, were always very helpful. They’re both very easy-going people to work with. It can get quite tough out there for apprentices being so far down the ladder, and they’ve been so welcoming right from the get-go.”

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New Zealand Master Joiners Otago Chapter, BCITO and the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association have been holding a graduation ceremony for Joinery and Kitchen Design apprentices for ten years.

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