He is an ap­pren­tice three times over

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - TA­MARA THORN

A big dream has come true for a for­mer head stu­dent of For­est View High School who has been named the top alu­minium join­ery ap­pren­tice in New Zealand.

Gate­way Glass ap­pren­tice Bren­don Shep­ard has been with the busi­ness for three years and has done three dif­fer­ent ap­pren­tice­ships in that time.

Shep­ard said he was not ex­pect­ing to be the top ap­pren­tice in New Zealand.

‘‘I’m pretty proud,’’ he said ‘‘ I’m stoked, I wasn’t ex­pect­ing it.’’

Busi­ness co-owner Shawn Evans said Shep­ard was awarded his po­si­tion as top ap­pren­tice ‘‘be­cause of his work ethic and qual­ity of work.’’

He said Shep­ard jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to com­plete his first ap­pren­tice­ship in Auto Glaz­ing, and also started a sec­ond ap­pren­tice­ship in Glass Glaz­ing.

With his two ap­pren­tice­ships al­most com­plete Shep­ard wanted to start his third ap­pren­tice­ship, but was told no one had ever don’t three at once so he had to wait un­til he had com­pleted the ones he had started.

It was then that an as­sess­ing men­tor sug­gested to Evans to nom­i­nate Shep­ard for ap­pren­tice of the year, as he had ex­celled in his work.

Evans said Shep­ard is ‘‘Lucky to be there that bit longer and be­ing that lit­tle bit fur­ther ahead.’’

‘‘It is cool for us as an em­ployer and a busi­ness, to know we have trained good qual­ity peo­ple.’’

Along with Shep­ard, Evans

‘‘I'm stoked, I wasn't ex­pect­ing it.’’ Bren­don Shep­ard

daugh­ter Shevonne who has been with the busi­ness for 18 months was also nom­i­nated for an award and came sec­ond in New Zealand.

Shevonne was also nom­i­nated for alu­minum join­ery and was the ‘‘quick­est who has been through it,’’ said Evans.

‘‘Its about knuck­ling down and do­ing it,’’ said Shevonne.

She said she has a good crew help­ing her and that any­one can do it if they put their minds to it.

She said be­ing the only fe­male ap­pren­tice could be ‘‘chal­leng­ing at times’’.

‘‘But you can only do what you can only do, and the guys un­der­stand that.’’

Shevonne said she is proud of her­self and where she is to­day, and said be­ing among the top two ap­pren­tices in New Zealand for alu­minum join­ery was im­pres­sive.

She wants to show the younger gen­er­a­tion that women can do it, and hopes to in­spire them.

‘‘It can be done, you just have to to it.’’

TA­MARA THORN/FAIRFAX NZ

Bren­don Shep­ard, Shawn Evans, and Shevonne Evans from Gate­way Glass Toko­roa.

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