Enthusiasm wins technician big award

ROB MAETZIG
Last updated 08:01 14/11/2012
tdn abel stand
ROBERT CHARLES
Taranaki engineering apprentice of the year Michael Abel.

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Fonterra maintenance technician Michael Abel just loves his job - and his enthusiasm has been rewarded: he has won a major Taranaki apprenticeship award.

Mr Abel, 21, has been named the Engineering Taranaki Consortium's apprentice of the year ahead of a strong selection of finalists from the region's engineering and electrical trades.

He was named as the big winner at a function in New Plymouth on Friday.

Yesterday his boss, Fonterra's Whareroa maintenance and engineering manager Brian Purser, described Mr Abel as a tradesperson who cares and therefore trains well.

"He's been very good right through his apprenticeship," he said of his staff member, who is now a fully qualified maintenance technician.

Mr Abel said he was attracted to the trade through the Gateways initiative while at secondary school - and he hasn't regretted anything since.

"I'd now like to stay in the industry for the long term, and hopefully take up some role which will allow me to help other apprentices," he said.

Engineering Taranaki Consortium director Steve Day said the apprenticeship awards were designed to help celebrate success, as well as to convince more young people that they should pursue the trades as a career.

"It's notable that all the owners and managers of the companies that are part of our consortium have come through apprenticeships and cadetships, and not through universities," he said.

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