Stop the press!
No one was more surprised at The Gisborne Herald's Bonny Seymour being a finalist for the PrintNZ Apprentice of the Year than the man himself.
“I think the most shocked and proud person is me,” he said.
Bonny won the Trust4Skills Reelfed Apprentice of the Year — one of five sector winners — and this has put him in the running for the overall PrintNZ Apprentice of the Year award.
The other sectors are sheetfed, packaging, binding and finishing, and digital.
Bonny started his apprenticeship at The Herald in 2016 when he was 29.
“I was at an age where many people were already qualified in the trade they wanted to pursue. Being at that age meant I was mature enough to handle any negativity in the role, he said.
He found out about the award before Alert Level 4 started.
His industry trainer, Malcolm Pearce, organised a video conference where it was confirmed Bonny had won the award.
“I was surprised but a little bit disappointed because I wasn't able to go to Auckland for the graduation night to celebrate it with all my peers in the print industry.”
His colleagues and whanau, however, “are all happy for me”.
“My family are proud. They have been there throughout the highs and lows, but I guess the most proud person is myself.”
Bonny admitted he never really liked school but he did listen.
“People who knew me at school and who read this article might be a bit shocked to see where I have ended up,” he said.
He was born and raised in Gisborne and attended Waikirikiri and Mangapapa primary schools, Gisborne Intermediate and Lytton High.
“If I compared my time and marks as an apprentice to what I was getting in school, there's no way I would have ever got those marks.
“From not liking school to becoming a print apprentice who has won an award, I never thought I had it in myself to do it.
“But in saying that, the apprenticeship has given me the self-belief that I can do anything if I focus on it.”
Bonny, who is of Ngati Porou descent, feels more Maori should be involved in the media and print industry.
“You need to have that indigenous culture involved in the media one way or another.
“People don't realise how powerful media is. It gets messages out to the public. I would say the more Maori, the merrier.”
To anyone wanting to enter the industry, Bonny said:“If you enjoy innovative technology, a hands-on approach and an ever-changing work environment, then the print industry is for you.
“There are a lot of knowledgeable people in the print industry that can help you along in your journey.”
He is grateful to his supervisors and colleagues at The Herald, managing director Michael Muir for giving him his shot, industry trainer Malcolm Pearce and everyone who has helped him over his apprenticeship.
• The overall winner of the PrintNZ Apprentice of the Year Award will be announced on Thursday, June 25.