Two bright sparks from Auckland have taken out the 2016 Electrical Apprentice of the Year Competition (the Master Electricians Challenge), the country’s toughest contest for apprentice electricians.
The pair were among 10 finalists, selected during knockout heats around the country, who took part in the gruelling two-day final at the Hilton Lake Taupo.
Chabb Chia, 21, from Parau, West Auckland, who is employed and trained by etco and hosted by Team Cabling, won the Domestic/Commercial division.
Logan Sanders, 20, from Port Albert, also employed and trained by etco and hosted by Dalton Electrical, took out top spot in the Industrial division.
The pair each won a range of prizes and the prestigious title of Electrical Apprentice of the Year.
Each had to face a business structure challenge and five workstations, with two hours at each to complete a range of tough tasks designed to replicate a ‘real industry’ setting and applying the latest available technology.
“Judges were really impressed at how swiftly and efficiently the contestants responded to these challenges. They were tested to the limit and performed exceptionally well. They are all very enthusiastic about the many opportunities offered in the electrical contracting industry,” says Master Electricians CEO, Neville Simpson.
He says the Challenge is a great way for apprentices to kick off their careers – they get to build their confidence, capability and leadership skills and meet others in the industry.
Domestic/commercial winner Chabb Chia said “It feels pretty surreal to have won. I was surprised when my name was announced as the calibre of contestants was so high this year.”
“I’m very proud of myself. The competition has given me great time management skills and it’s been awesome working with all the new technology.”
“If you’re thinking about taking part next year – do it! It has been the best experience of my career.”
Industrial winner Logan Sanders said it was his second year competing in the Challenge and he was ‘absolutely stoked and also a bit relieved’ to have won.
“I had put in a huge effort in trying to win this year. The competition has given me a huge amount of skills that I wouldn’t otherwise get on the job. We had to work a lot faster and make decisions under time pressure.”
“This is definitely a great opportunity for any apprentice electricians – there are some great prizes and it’s a good way to get recognition in the industry.”
As apprentices, the contestants have all been paid while learning and have gained experience working across a wide range of electrical jobs.
The Challenge is made possible through the support of Skills, NHP, Rockwell Automation, Marley, Vynco, Philips, HPM Legrand and J.A. Russell Ltd.