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Hamilton apprentice wins top national award

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Malone Harris, a plumbing and gas-fitting apprentice at FB Hall and Co, has won the Dux Personal Growth and Development Award in the national awards held by the Apprenticeship Training Trust (ATT), one of the country’s largest apprentice training organisations.

Harris was awarded alongside 88 other apprentice plumbers, gasfitters, drainlayers and electricians.   

He started his apprenticeship in 2016 and will graduate in a few months. The Personal Growth and Development Award recognises exceptional talent among ATT’s 345 apprentices who are part of its managed apprenticeship scheme that recruits, employs and places apprentices with host businesses who help them learn their trade. 

ATT chief executive Helen Stephens says Harris’s work has been awarded at a time when the spotlight is shining on apprenticeships and trade careers.

“Apprentices are now needed more than ever – while we’ve all experienced major disruptions this year it hasn’t dented the long term need to grow trade skills.”

Joe Calkin, from FB Hall and Co, a Waikato plumbing, gas-fitting and drain laying company, says Harris is a stand-out performer and natural leader:

“He’s becoming a highly skilled plumber and gasfitter and has a very bright future.  He recently passed his registration in plumbing after setting up a study group to help others, as well as himself. 

“After just 3.5 years on the tools he’s shown he has the right approach and is developing his trade quickly.  He’s a great member of our team, is very well-liked by clients and has a strong sense of community.  His award is well-deserved.” 

Outside work Harris is involved in many different things.  He and his wife are care-givers for Oranga Tamariki, he’s a volunteer for a local charity doing odd-jobs, he’s very involved in his local church and he’s helped set up a national iwi basketball organisation, Rongomaiwahine Basketball.  He says he has a genuine desire to support the lives of others as well as himself and his family.

The Dux Personal Growth and Development Award is sponsored by Dux Industries, a distributor of hot and cold plumbing systems.

Jeff La Haye, General Manager at Dux Industries, says the award recognises one apprentice who is excelling in developing trade skills and knowledge.

“This is the ninth year of this award and is part of our commitment to developing apprentice plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers, who are vitally needed in a trade with great long term future prospects.  Malone stood out as a performer at work and in his community and we are delighted to give him this year’s award.” 

ATT is the largest employer of plumbing apprentices in the country and works in partnership with around 200 host businesses in the plumbing, electrical, gas-fitting and
drain-laying trades.

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