PLUMBING apprentices are coming up trumps for Southland companies.
Justin Sutherland, of Bluff, employed by Plumbing and Building Services Ltd (PBS), of Invercargill, won the Mac McKenzie Top Apprentice of the Year Award for Southland for 2016.
He also wrenched the Mac McKenzie Top Overall Apprentice Award for Southland/Otago from Otago’s plumbing apprentices.
Masterlink Apprenticeships South Island manager Roger Herd said about 30-35 apprentices from Waimate south graduated the Southern Institute of Technology’s (SIT) plumbing course annually and were all considered for the Mac McKenzie awards.
The awards included prizes for the top apprentice from Otago and for the top apprentice from Southland. The best of these two winners, judged by Mr Herd and SIT tutors, was then awarded the top overall award, he said.
PBS director Ron Vermeulen said Mr Sutherland’s success was “also a caps off to Justin’s colleagues”, who had worked alongside him and helped train him.
Drake Plumbing and Drain Laying Ltd owner Kieran Drake, of Otautau, said there were a number of benefits from taking on an apprentice.
“You put a lot into it to get them trained, but once they’re qualified you can leave them to it,” Mr Drake, who won the Master Plumbers James Douglas Medallion in 2006, said.
A Drake apprentice, Ben DeClifford, went on to win this year’s top Masterlink Apprentice of the Year Award for the Southern region.
Mr Herd said Mr DeClifford beat about 45 other apprentices from throughout Southland and Otago.
Lauren Phillips, of Winton, represented Fairburn Plumbing Ltd at the Southern regional finals for the Young Plumber of the Year Award, held in Queenstown.